Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei rules out talks with US

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the US embassy hostage crisis.

Khamenei said Iran has outmanoeuvred the US since the 1979 Islamic Revolution [Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP]

Iran’s supreme leader has again ruled out negotiations with Washington, a day before the 40th anniversary of the hostage crisis at the United States embassy in Tehran.

“Those who see negotiations with the US as the solution to every problem are certainly mistaken,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday during a speech to mark the anniversary, according to his official website.

“Nothing will come out of talking to the US, because they certainly and definitely won’t make any concessions.”

On November 4, 1979, less than nine months after the toppling of Iran’s American-backed shah, Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi, students overran the embassy complex to demand the US hand over the overthrown ruler after he was admitted to an American hospital.

It took 444 days for the crisis to end with the release of 52 Americans, but the US broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 and ties have been frozen ever since.

Khamenei, however, said the Iran-US “disputes” did not start with the embassy takeover.

“It goes back to the 1953 coup, when the US overthrew a national govt, which had made the mistake of trusting the US – and established its corrupt and puppet government in Iran,” his Twitter account said in English.

That CIA-organised coup, supported by Britain, toppled the hugely popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, who was responsible for nationalising Iran’s oil industry.

The coup re-established the rule of country’s last Shah Pahlavi who had fled the country in August 1953 after trying to dismiss Mossadegh.

Khamenei pointed to North Korea’s negotiations with the US as a sign of Washington’s untrustworthiness, tweeting, “they took photos and praised each other, but the Americans did not lift sanctions even a bit”.

“That’s how they are in negotiations; they’ll say we brought you to your knees and won’t make any concessions at the end.”

Tensions have escalated again between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed unilateral sanctions.

‘American demands’

Slamming the seemingly unending “American demands”, Khamenei said after telling Iran to not be “active in the region” and end its production of missiles, Washington will next “say give up religious laws and don’t insist on the issue of the hijab”.

Tehran has hit back three times with countermeasures since May in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal by suspending parts of its compliance with the agreement’s terms.

It has threatened to go even further if remaining parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – cannot help it circumvent US sanctions.

The US also blames Iran for a September 14 attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, which temporarily halved the kingdom’s production.

Tehran denies it launched the cruise missiles and drone attacks. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but analysts say the weapons used would not have the range to reach their targets from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

A Saudi-led and US-backed military coalition has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthis since 2015.

Source: News Agencies