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Iran’s supreme leader said Monday that his country will neither go to war nor enter into negotiations with the United States as the Trump administration restores sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.
In remarks carried by state television, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “along with sanctions, Americans have recently raised two more options, war and talks… War will not happen and we will not enter talks.”
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Iran‘s nuclear deal with world powers in May and last week the U.S. began restoring sanctions, exacerbating a financial crisis in Iran that has sent its currency tumbling. Trump has suggested he would be willing to hold talks with Iranian leaders, but that would be impossible without permission from Khamenei, who has the final say on all major policies.
“Negotiations with the U.S. would definitely harm us and they are forbidden,” Khamenei said, adding that the Americans had proven they could not be trusted. “Negotiation with the bullying and very eager government of the U.S. means giving it an instrument through which it can add to its hostility,” he said.
Khamenei meanwhile blamed the monetary crisis on President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, saying it resulted from “management problems unrelated to the sanctions.”
Also on Monday, Iran said it launched a production line for a radar-evading, short-range missile. Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami told state TV the surface-to-surface missile, dubbed Fateh-e Mobin, or Bright Conqueror, was effective in all weather conditions.
He did not discuss the range of the missile, but older versions like the Fateh-313 have a range of some 500 kilometers (300 miles). Iran is believed to have long-range missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), which are capable of reaching U.S. bases in the region and Israel.
Iran often announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified.