Iran's top leader rejects talks with USA to solve problems

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday warned the USA against taking aggressive action that could lead to war with Iran.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that negotiations with the United States are "useless" because it does not abide by agreements.

Rouhani's apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries came in reaction to looming United States sanctions and efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

Iran is facing increased USA pressure and looming sanctions after Mr Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 global deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Even though Rouhani did not mention the Strait of Hormuz, his comments were nonetheless seen as a threat to the narrow strategic passageway located between Iran and Oman, where at least 18.5m barrels of oil were transported every day in 2016, according to a USA energy department report.

Addressing Iranian diplomats, Mr Rouhani said: "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars".

Europe, Russia, and China all want the deal to survive.

Khamenei Supports Blocking Region's Oil Exports If Iran's Exports Stopped
He also said Iran will not wait for Europeans to take action and will try to plan for maintaining the volume of the country's non-oil exports.

The US has provided a list of 12 demands that says Tehran needs to accept if it seeks relief from Washington's threats.

Khamenei told officials in Iran's Foreign Ministry earlier on July 21 that it would be an "obvious mistake" to negotiate with the United States because Washington is unreliable.

Zarif expressed confidence that Iran would be able to overcome problems through unity and coherence and by relying on the Leader's guidelines and public support.

During the past week, with Khamenei and other hard-liners questioning whether Tehran should continue honoring its obligations under the nuclear deal after Trump's decision, Iran announced it is continuing to acquire uranium and is close to finishing a plant where it can build more centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Iran's presence in the region is elemental for Iran's power and security and it is a strategic policy, he stressed.

"I have reiterated that we can not rely on the American words and even their signature, therefore, negotiations with them are fruitless", he was quoted as saying.

But, he added, "we have of course adopted some measures in order to prepare the ground for eventually increasing the level of enrichment if it is needed and if the negotiations with the Europeans fail".

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