Published: Wed, September 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Iran Leader Rules Out US Talks As Tensions Rise Over Saudi Attacks

Iran Leader Rules Out US Talks As Tensions Rise Over Saudi Attacks

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. says no negotiations will take place between Iran and the USA officials "at any level".

Mr. Trump has imposed punishing sanctions on Iranian oil exports, and analysts argue that desperation has convinced Iranian leaders, who call the sanctions "economic warfare", that striking back is their only choice.

Referring to the recent remarks by a USA official who said "we should negotiate with Iran, and we should say so and so, and Iran must agree", the leader of the Islamic Revolution held: For such negotiations, they should go to those who act as their "milking cows".

But tensions seemed to be thawing in recent weeks, with US President Donald Trump dangling the prospect of some sanctions relief for Iran and a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani during the UN General Assembly in NY later this month. "In return, we have to prove that the policy is not worth a penny for the Iranian nation", he continued.

Khamenei said Washington's "maximum pressure" policy against Tehran is worthless and that all officials of the Islamic Republic share his view. Thus, the only way of dealing with Iran is through maximum pressure.

The US has made similar allegations, going so far as to say the attack may have been launched from Iran itself or nearby Iraq, where Iran has powerful proxy militias on the ground. But Iran has denied a role in specific attacks, including bombings of tankers in the Gulf and previous strikes claimed by the Houthis. The top officials of National Iranian Oil Company and Pakistan' Inter-State Gas System signed the amended IP gas deal under which Pakistan will build the said pipeline by August 26, 2024, in its territory.

"I will not get into that kind of details", the official said.

"Iranian hard-liners consider Trump's inconsistency to be weakness", said Ali Ansari, a professor of Iranian history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Trump said on Sunday that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond to the incident.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday (16 September) it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia but stressed he did not want to go to war, as the attacks sent oil prices soaring and raised fears of a new Middle East conflict.

Khamenei said Iran's clerical rulers were in agreement on this: "All officials in Iran unanimously believe it".

U.S. Energy Secretary Perry pinned the blame squarely on Iran for "an attack on the global economy and the global energy market". The U.S. already has the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier battle group in the area, as well as fighter jets, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and air defenses. "The thinking here is that any attack on Iran must set back Iran's military ability 10 to 15 years".

This image shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.

"If the U.S. takes back its words and repents after pulling out of the JCPOA. then it can join the other countries party to the JCPOA and talk to Iran along with the other countries", he said, using the deal's formal title.

Trump affirmed he was ready to help its ally Saudi Arabia after the attacks that triggered a record leap in world oil prices. The drones did not, like what the Houthis claimed, take off from Yemen.

Trump has said his goal is to force Iran to negotiate a tougher agreement and has left open the possibility of talks with Rouhani at an upcoming United Nations meeting. The security council meets next week in NY.

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