Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei categorically rejected the possibility of talks between Iran and the US in a meeting with Japan’s prime minister, saying the US president does not merit a response or exchange of messages.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe held a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran on Thursday morning.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Japanese prime minister said he intended to relay a message to Iran from US President Donald Trump.
In response, Ayatollah Khamenei told Abe, “We have no doubts about your goodwill and seriousness, but with regard to what you relayed from the US president, I see no merit in Trump as a person to deserve the exchange of any messages, and I do not have any answer for him and will not give him any either.”
As regards the Japanese premier’s comments about Trump’s assertion that Washington does not seek a regime change in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran’s problem with the US does not relate to the issue of regime change, although the US would never achieve such an objective even if it wanted to.
“Trump’s claim that he does not intend to change the regime (in Iran) is a lie, because he would do this if he was able to, but he can’t,” Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.
On the Japanese leader’s message that the US has called for nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Leader said the US once reneged on an agreement that was reached after five to six years of negotiations with the US and Europeans. “So, which wise man would negotiate again with a country that has broken all agreements?”
In response to the Japanese leader’s comments that the US is resolved to prevent Iran from producing nukes, Ayatollah Khamenei underlined, “We are opposed to nuclear weapons and my religious fatwa is that production of nuclear weapons is haram (forbidden), but be mindful that if we ever intended to produce nuclear weapons, the US would not be able to do anything, and the American rejection would not pose any obstacle.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also noted that the US which has a stockpile of thousands of nuclear warheads is in no position to comment about nuclear weapons in the other countries.
In response to Abe’s comments that the US is ready for genuine talks with Iran, the Leader said, “We do not believe it at all, because sincere negotiations would not come from an individual like Trump.”
“Sincerity is very rare among the American officials,” the Leader noted.
Ayatollah Khamenei then stressed that Trump’s move to impose sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry immediately after returning from Japan shows that the US president is insincere and does not look for genuine talks.
“We will by no means repeat the bitter experience of negotiations with the US in the past recent years,” Ayatollah Khamenei underscored.
Touching on the US breach of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Leader said, “After the nuclear deal, the first one that violated the JCPOA immediately was (former US President Barack) Obama, the one who had made a request for talks with Iran and had sent a mediator too.”
In reaction to Abe’s message from Trump that negotiations with Washington would contribute to development of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran will be making progress despite the sanctions and without any talks with the US.
The Leader also welcomed the Japanese premier’s call for the expansion of ties with Iran, adding, “Japan is an important country in Asia, and if it is willing to expand relations with Iran, then it should express its decisive determination, in a way that some major countries expressed such determination.”
Denouncing the US hostility towards the Iranian nation over the past forty years, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “We believe that our problems would not be solved through talks with the US, and no free nation would approve of negotiations under pressures.”
The Leader then hailed the Japanese prime minister’s assertion that Americans always seek to impose their thoughts and policies on the other countries, noting, “You had better also know that Americans are not content with any limit in imposing their stances.”
For his part, Abe expressed the hope that his political negotiations in Tehran would pave the way for the promotion of cooperation between Iran and Japan.
Abe arrived in Tehran on Wednesday and became the first Japanese leader to visit Iran in more than 4 decades.
In a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday evening, Abe said the main purpose of his trip to Iran is to ease the tensions, and expressed hope that his visit would result in the reduction of tensions and establishment of peace in the region.