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Iran's Top Leader Says No War or Talks with US

15 August 2018

"They talk about a spirit of war to frighten the cowards", said Khamenei, adding that they United States played a "poor game" when it came to negotiations.

That after Washington pulled out of a nuclear deal and then, last week, reimposed sanctions.

Washington this week reimposed sanctions on Iran's purchase of USA dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.

Khamenei continued, "Contrary to the opinion of some domestically, the request from the Americans to negotiate is not a serious issue, and in the last 40 years has been repeated numerous times and been met with by a negative answer from Iran". But he ruled out the possibility of war with the United States, saying: "They are exaggerating the possibility of a war with Iran".

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"More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement [by the government] is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians..."

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks were carried by Iran's state television Monday.

Khamenei's comments also sought to downplay the impact of U.S. sanctions, seemingly an attempt to address protests over Iran's economic woes, Khamenei blamed government mismanagement of the economy for the struggles, not USA sanctions.

European countries, which still back the 2015 deal, fear Trump's moves will undermine Rouhani and strengthen the hand of his hardline rivals in the clerical establishment. "I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management", Mr Khamenei said. The protests over the cost of living have often turned into anti-government rallies.

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As if to drive the point home, on Monday Tehran also unveiled a new generation of its short-range ballistic missiles - defying U.S. demands to curb the weapons programme.

"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.

Khamenei agreed, saying: "The objective (of the courts) should be to punish those guilty of corrupt economic practices swiftly and justly", the TV added. He says Iran must change the way it operates, including its activities in Syria and Yemen.

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Iran's Top Leader Says No War or Talks with US