The Supreme Leader of Iranian Republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has outrightly rejected any negotiations with US President Donald Trump. The leader has made it amply clear that Iran will never negotiate with the current US administration.
Khamenei has always had an important position in Iran and has enjoyed a final say in vital political decisions of the country. The leader stated that Iran will only negotiate when in position of strength and will not be pushed by US tactics of pressure. He added that US has shown very sharp reactions and despite the economic sanctions is also proposing war. Amid the atmosphere of panic and economic uncertainty he cleared the air by saying that,” THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH US”.
He further gave reasons for no negotiations with US administration in another detailed post on Twitter, the primary one being the stubbornness shown by US to not to retreat from any of its self-professed goals.
President Trump withdrew from the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal in May despite pleas from the European allies on the pretext that it is highly skewed in Iran’s favour. He has, however, also expressed his willingness to negotiate with Iran without any preconditions. The Iranian refusal for any talks led US to reimpose sanctions on Iran on August 7, the next and more severe form of which will take place in November. The sanctions have hit Iranian trade in carpets, caviar, pistachio, gold etc.
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif echoed the comments made by Khamenei and also told media that Iran can enter into dialogue but there is an apparent lack of consensus in US about the preconditions for talks as US Secretary of State has defined some impossible conditions. Zarif also expressed criticism about the ongoing Yemen conflict in which Saudi Arabia led alliance in pounding innocents. He further blamed West for supplying arms to the coalition forces and thereby giving shape to one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world. He, however, clarified that Iran will not change its regional policies and bow to threat of US sanctions.’
The primary aim of US sanctions is to cripple the economy of Iranian Republic and render it incapable to support its regional ventures and allies which has led to grave instability in the Middle East. In addition to this, the sanctions will also fuel domestic discontent due to economic problems and gradually affect the stability of the government. Similar strategy was successfully adopted by the previous US administration and it had resulted in bringing Iran to sign the JCPOA.
But, the same outcome cannot be expected under the change of guard in US as Khamenei is under no obligation to sit with President Trump and get his country ratified as was the case with North Korea. Any talks can contrarily, derail his domestic support as he had always stood against West and never expressed trust in their dealing. He had also raised caution after the ratification of 2015 JCPOA and had warned against any negotiation ahead. US withdrawal from the Deal has come as a testament to reinforce his beliefs about the West and has only painted him as a great visionary among Iranians. Khamenei has held an open anti-American attitude and has constantly said that all US foreign policies are directed at change of regime in Iran and not behavioural change. He has repeatedly stated that core Western interests lie in overthrowing Iranian regime and colonise it. He has also put forth the idea of “axis of resistance” which involve Iran and its regional proxies. He is trying to push Iran towards economic nationalism by encouraging domestic production and reducing the dependence on imports. The “resistance economy” is another hallmark of his approach.