Iran's Supreme Leader: No Talks With the US at Any Level

He rules out meeting of presidents at UN
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2019 12:07 AM CDT
Iran's Supreme Leader: No Talks With the US at Any Level
This image provided on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, by the US government and DigitalGlobe shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Kuirais oil field in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.   (U.S. government/Digital Globe via AP)

(Newser) – Iran's supreme leader announced on Tuesday that "there will be no talks with the US at any level"—remarks apparently meant to end all speculation about a possible US-Iran meeting between the two countries' presidents at the United Nations later this month. Iranian state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying this is the position of the entire leadership of the country and that "all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe" this. "There will be no talks with the US at any level," he said. Khamenei said the US wants to prove its "maximum pressure policy" against Iran is successful, the AP reports. "In return, we have to prove that the policy is not worth a penny for the Iranian nation," Khamenei said.

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There had been reports about a possible meeting between President Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, during the upcoming UN General Assembly this month in New York. But tensions roiling the Persian Gulf have escalated following a weekend attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the US alleged Iran was responsible for—a charge Iran denies. Trump declared Monday it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on the Saudi oil facilities. But he stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table in response to the strike against a key US Mideast ally. Trump, alternating between aggressive and nonviolent reactions, said the US could respond "with an attack many, many times larger" but also "I'm not looking at options right now."

(Read more Iran stories.)

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