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Iran’s supreme leader refuses to talk to Washington

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Iran would never engage in bilateral talks with the United States but could take part in multilateral discussions if Washington returned to the 2015 nuclear deal, state television reported.

US President Donald Trump raised the prospect of meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the UN General Assembly in New York this month.

“Iranian officials, at all levels, will never talk to US officials,” Khamenei was quoted as saying. “This is part of their (US) policy to put pressure on Iran … their maximum pressure policy will fail.”

“If America changes its behavior and returns to the nuclear deal, it can join multilateral talks between Iran and the rest of the parties,” he said.

Trump has tightened sanctions on Iran since last year when he withdrew from the nuclear deal with six world powers.

“If we bow to their pressure and hold talks with the Americans,” Khamenei said, “it will show that their policy of putting extreme pressure on Iran has been successful.” They have to know that this policy is worthless to us.”

Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated after attacks on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend. The United States has accused Iran of responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamic Republic denies this.

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