0214 GMT February 18, 2019
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Monday there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States due to cheating and bullying nature of its government, after Trump called for direct negotiations with Tehran.
In a clear reference to Trump's withdrawal from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, the Leader said, “Why should we sit for negotiations with a bullying [and] cheating regime, which negotiates like this?”
Elaborating on Trump's offer of direct talks with Iranian officials, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Of course, they act upon a threadbare and worthless political game in this regard; one of them says [they want negotiations with Iran] without any preconditions, the other one sets preconditions.”
“Unlike what some people may think in the country, Americans’ request for negotiations is nothing new and has been repeated many times during the past 40 years, but has been met with Iran's negative answer. Even then American president, Reagan, who was more powerful than the current ones, in the famous case of McFarlane, sent him secretly to Tehran for negotiations, but he returned without any results 24 hours later.”
“They have a special formula for negotiations, which must be understood and then this question must be answered that will any wise person enter into negotiations according to this formula?” he noted.
The Leader said “give and take” is the reality of negotiations in customary politics, adding, “Banking on their political, propaganda and financial power, Americans try in every negotiation to thwart any resistance that may prevent realization of their goals.
“They firstly clearly set their main goals. Of course, they do not declare all those goals during negotiations, but pursue [realization of] all of them through bargaining during talks. The second point is that Americans do not take one step back from these main goals.”
The Leader noted, “During negotiations, Americans only give promises using apparently assuring words, but want real concessions from the opposite side and do not accept promises.
“We experienced this reality in [the case of] the JCPOA (the nuclear deal), and Americans resorted to the same method in negotiations with North Korea.
“In any negotiations, if the opposite side refrains from giving real concessions, Americans will launch such a propaganda and media rancor in the world that the other side feels at loss and becomes passive.”
Noting that according to the American formula, they give promises during negotiations and breach them afterwards, the Leader mentioned the JCPOA as an example of the result of negotiations with America, adding, “Of course, some redlines, which had been set [by me] were not observed in those [negotiations].”
Referring to economic problems, he said Iran’s economic problems were the result of internal mismanagement by the government and not just US pressure.
"Economic experts and many officials believe the cause of this issue is not foreign, it's internal. Not that sanctions do not have an impact, but the major impact is related to performances,” the Leader told ordinary Iranians at a meeting in Tehran.
He referred specifically to the collapse in the currency, which has lost around half its value since April.
"If our performance is better, more prudent, timely and effective, sanctions will not have that much effect and can be resisted," Ayatollah Khamenei added.
“All people feel livelihood problems today. A section of the people is really under the pressure and the high prices of food, housing and other things are pressuring them,” he said.
“The devaluation of the national currency is one of the current economic problems. When the price of the rial comes down, it is the daily-paid employee who ends up with nothing left,” the Leader added.
Washington reimposed strict sanctions against Iran last Tuesday and President Donald Trump has threatened to penalize firms from other countries that continue to operate in the Islamic Republic. Iran has denounced the sanctions as "US unilateralism".
Trump restored the sanctions after pulling the United States out of the 2015 international nuclear accord. The sanctions prevent Iran from trading in gold and precious metals. They also ban purchases of US dollars by Iran and sanction its automotive sector.
Iranian officials have blamed "enemies" for the fall of the currency and a rapid rise in the price of gold coins, and more than 60 people, including several officials, have been arrested in a drive against financial crime.
The Leader touched on the turmoil in the foreign exchange and gold coins market, calling it the result of “imprudence and neglect” by certain officials who caused government dollars to end up in the hands of manipulators.
Currency fall major problem