Ayatollah Nixes Direct US-Iran Talks

Foreign minister had offered some support
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2013 1:19 AM CST
In this Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 file photo, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listens to a speaker during a meeting on his tour of northeastern Iran.   (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

(Newser) – Iran's supreme leader has rejected proposals for direct talks with United States, apparently quashing suggestions for a breakthrough dialogue on the nuclear standoff and other issues. Today's statement posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's website marks his first reaction to the proposals for the one-on-one talks, which received cautious support last week from Iran's foreign minister. "Talks will not solve any problems," Khamenei said.

"You are holding a gun against Iran saying, `Talks or you'll fire,' he continued, apparently referencing sanctions. "The Iranian nation will not be frightened by such threats." Khamenei has the final say in all key matters and has previously opposed direct talks with Washington. Iran and six world powers, including the US, are scheduled to resume nuclear negotiations later this month. (Read more Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stories.)

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