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Iranian supreme leader rules out talks with Washington

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Meng Tao/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran’s supreme leader said Tehran would keep in place its ban on holding any talks with the United States.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments on state TV on November 3, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

“One way to block America’s political infiltration is to ban any talks with America. It means Iran will not yield to America’s pressure,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.

“Those who see negotiations with the U.S. as the solution to every problem are certainly mistaken,” he was quoted as saying. “Nothing will come out of talking to the U.S. because they certainly and definitely won’t make any concessions.”

Never amicable, relations between Tehran and Washington have spiraled downward after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the landmark 2015 pact which curbed Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in return for lifting crippling Western sanctions.

Washington has since reimposed economic sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports.

“The U.S. has not changed since decades ago…it continues the same aggressive, vicious behavior and the same international dictatorship,” Khamenei said.

On November 4, 1979, Iranian students overran the U.S. Embassy complex in Tehran to demand Washington hand over the ousted U.S.-backed shah, after he was admitted to a U.S. hospital.

The crisis ended after 444 days with the release of 52 Americans.

The two countries broke off diplomatic ties in 1980.