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Ayatollah rejects offer of Iran talks with Trump

Ayatollah rejects offer of Iran talks with Trump

Ayatollah Khamenei added the Iranian negotiators passed some "redlines" during the nuclear negotiations which resulted the nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Speaking in Tehran on Monday (August 13), Khamenei said he has banned Iranian officials from accepting Trump's offer of unconditional talks.

Trump's determination to push ahead with sanctions on Tehran which also target European companies doing business with Iran has opened another battle front. Iranian officials had already rejected the offer but it is the first time Mr Khamenei has publicly commented.

The Leader also said, "There will be no war, because, as it was in the past, we will never initiate a war and nor will the USA start a war, because it will be totally harmful to them".

"They (the Americans) are exaggerating the possibility of a war with Iran".

According to state TV, Mr Khamenei told the gathering: "More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement (by the government) is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians".

Khamenei, whose remarks on Monday come amid a sharp fall in the rial currency that has prompted angry protests, criticized the government of President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist cleric who championed the 2015 deal aimed at ending Iran's political and economic isolation. "I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", Mr Khamenei said.

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Regarding his planned visit on October 25-26 to Turkey to boost bilateral economic ties, accompanied by a 80-member business delegation of leading companies, Altmaier said: "I represent the interests of more than 7,000 German companies operating in Turkey".

The rial has lost about half of its value since April in anticipation of the renewed USA sanctions, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

More than 60 people, including several officials, have been arrested on charges that carry the death penalty.

Protests in cities and towns across Iran have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living, high prices and a lack of jobs, but have then quickly turned into anti-government rallies.

Khamenei agreed, saying: "The objective (of the courts) should be to punish those guilty of corrupt economic practices swiftly and justly", the TV added.

There was also a show of military resolve as Defence Minister Amir Hatami unveiled a next generation short-range ballistic missile and vowed to further boost the country's missile capabilities.

"If by some force of circumstance there was a possibility for the Iranian government to speak directly with the American regime, we would never negotiate with the current USA government", Khamenei said.