In recent months, the U.S. has tried to arrange high-level talks with Iranian officials, and there has been speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump may try to meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.
But now Iran’s Supreme Leader is ruling out any meetings unless sanctions are lifted and the U.S. rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
“Without doing so, no negotiation will take place at any level between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Americans. Neither in New York, nor anywhere else,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran’s Supreme Leader.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from that deal last year despite Iran remaining in compliance with the agreement. After the U.S. pulled out and re-imposed sanctions, Tehran breached the deal’s nuclear enrichment limits twice. The U.S. president wants a tougher deal that would prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons.
It’s still not clear who was behind last weekend’s attacks on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia said all signs point to Iran but no conclusive evidence has been made public, and Iran denies involvement.
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted the U.S. was quote: “locked and loaded” and ready to respond but appears to be backing away from a military response – at least for now.
“I don’t want war with anybody, but we’re prepared more than anybody,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday.
But Trump said military action is still possible and suggests a U.S. strike on Iranian oil infrastructure could be a proportional response. China is calling for calm from all parties.
“China condemns this attack on Saudi oil facilities and opposes any attack on civilians and civilian facilities. We call on the relevant sides to refrain from taking actions that lead to an escalation of tensions in the region,” said Hua Chunying Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson.