Iran's Khamenei bans holding direct talks with United States

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at the Hussayniyeh of Imam Khomeini in Tehran

Iran s supreme leader said Monday there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and that the country s problems were the result of government mismanagement more than renewed sanctions.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, reported that Khamenei said that negotiation "with the bullying and very eager government of the US means giving it an instrument through which it can add to its hostility".

U.S. President Donald Trump last week reimposed a set of sanctions that had been lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers to limit the country's nuclear program in exchange for relief from measures that had badly hurt its economy. Iran is believed to have long-range missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), which are capable of reaching US bases in the region and Israel.

The 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. "We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily", Iran's top authority said in a televised speech.

"Not that sanctions don t have an impact, but the main factor is how we handle them", he added.

A fortnight ago, Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari told Mr. Rouhani to take "revolutionary actions to control prices and prevent the enormous increase in the price of foreign currency and gold", in an open letter published by the conservative Tasnim news agency. The 2015 agreement placed tight controls on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

"Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside, they are internal", Ayatollah Khamenei said in another tweet. He says Iran must change the way it operates, including its activities in Syria and Yemen. These punitive economic measures will intensify in November, when the US will seek to ban Iranian oil exports.

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