Holding talks with oath-breaking US is madness: senior cleric

TEHRAN, Aug. 30 (MNA) – Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said entering negotiations with the US, which has already proved its lack of commitment to agreements, is madness.

Addressing the Friday Prayer sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Khatami said accepting the calls by the oath-breaking US for talks under the current situation means surrendering to the pressures.

But the Iranian people have proved in the past 40 years that they will never give up to such pressures, he added.

The senior cleric pointed to the remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who ruled out the possibility of talks between Tehran and Washington back in May, saying that such negotiations will be “fruitless”, “harmful”, and “a total loss”.

The Friday Prayer leader underlined that other officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, are also of the same opinion about talks with the US.

Tehran and Washington have been locked in a bitter standoff since last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 and reimposed its economic terrorism on the country.

The Trump administration has been making empty calls for talks, but the Islamic Republic stresses that as long as sanctions are in place and the US refuses to return to the JCPOA, negotiations will be meaningless.

Last week, Rouhani rejected any such talks under pressure, urging the US to lift all its cruel sanctions and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialogue.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said on Thursday that the US will have to return to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal and stop its “economic terrorism” against Iran if it wants to meet for talks.

“The United States is engaged in an economic war against the Iranian people and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” Zarif added.

MNA/4706221

News Code 149472

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