DUBAI – Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ruled out negotiations with the United States over Teheran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes on Friday (July 31) and urged Iranians to resist US pressure.
“America’s brutal sanctions on Iran are aimed at collapsing our economy… Their aim is to limit our influence in the region and to halt our missile and nuclear capabilities,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on television.
“Relying on national capabilities and cutting our dependence on oil exports will help us to resist America’s pressure.”
Relations between Teheran and Washington have deteriorated since US President Donald Trump in 2018 abandoned a pact between Iran and six world powers, under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions.
The US has reimposed sanctions that have sharply lowered Teheran’s oil exports.
Washington says it wants Teheran to negotiate a wider deal to further curb Iran’s nuclear work, halt its missile programme and limit the Islamic Republic’s regional influence.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said on Friday that European states have failed to salvage the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, from which the US has already withdrawn.
“They have inflicted a blow on Iran’s economy by hollow promises,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised speech.
Since 2018, when Mr Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Teheran, the European parties to the agreement have intensified efforts to save it by shielding Iran’s economy from US penalties.