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Iran's supreme leader says his country will never hold talks with the United States

Iran's supreme leader says his country will never hold talks with the United States

President Trump has been toying with the idea of personally meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced in a televised address that no representative of Iran would never meet with U.S. officials, until the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal was restored.

What's the background?

In late July 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani "without preconditions." He reportedly also said something similar in early September, and seemed to confirm as much when a reporter asked him about it and he responded with a cryptic "we'll see what happens."

Former President Barack Obama had been met with Republican criticism when he had suggested having American officials meet with Iranian leaders without preconditions.

As recently as Sunday, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters that Trump would announce whether or not he would personally meet with Rouhani (even though the Supreme Leader has the final say on all issues, the president of Iran has broad ranging powers).

What did he say?

"Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials ... this is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran ... their policy of maximum pressure will fail," Khamenei said during a televised address, according to Reuters.

"If America changes its behavior and returns to [the] nuclear deal, then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the deal," he continued. He also said that if Iran agreed to hold talks with the U.S., it would "show that their maximum pressure on Iran has succeeded."

What else?

This speech by Khamenei came just days after Trump tweeted that he would back another brutal dictatorship, Saudi Arabia, which has claimed to have been bombed by Iran (and very well may have).

Both countries rob their citizens of basic rights, but Saudi Arabia has a bigger impact on the world oil market.

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