Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei rejects Trump’s offer to hold talks

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Iran’s Supreme Leader on Monday rejected US President Donald Trump’s offer of unconditional talks to improve bilateral ties. He also accused the Iranian government of economic mismanagement after reimposed US sanctions.

“I ban holding any talks with America… America never remains loyal to its promises in talks,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on policy in the Islamic Republic.

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Last week, the US after pulled out of a 2015 international deal, aimed at restricting Iran’s nuclear program, followed by a threat to penalize companies that trade with Iran.

“With better management and more efficient planning we can resist the sanctions and overcome them,” Khamenei said, in an apparent effort to deflect public anger over the deteriorating economy towards Rouhani’s government.

Iranian currency rial has lost about half of its value since April on fears of renewed US sanctions. However, Iranian officials blamed ‘enemies’ for the fall of the currency and a rapid rise in the price of gold coins. More than 60 people, including several officials, have been arrested on charges that carry the death penalty. “The corrupt people (officials) should be punished firmly,” Khamenei said on Monday.

Defying US demands to curb its missile program, Iran unveiled a new generation of its ‘Fateh Mobin’ short-range ballistic missile on Monday, state TV reported.

“Our will to enhance our defense power in all fields will increase if the pressure mounts on Iran,” Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said after unveiling the ‘fully home-made precision-guided’ missile.

Trump has said Iran must also stop meddling in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, but Foreign Minister Javad Zarif struck a defiant tone on Monday, telling Qatar’s al Jazeera TV “Iran will not change its policies in the region because of US sanctions and threats.”

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