Iran leader rejects Trump talks

14 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Thursday categorically ruled out talks with US President Donald Trump, despite an unprecedented Japanese mission aimed at defusing tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic, reports AFP.

Iran “has no trust in America and will not in any way repeat the bitter experience of the previous negotiations with America,” Khamenei said in comments published by his official website.

They came after he met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making an unprecedented visit to Iran—the first by a Japanese premier since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“We have no doubt in your good will and seriousness, but regarding what you said the US president told you, I don’t consider Trump as a person worthy of exchanging messages with,” Khamenei told Abe during their meeting.

The visit coincided with a suspected attack on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman, off the Iranian coast, with one of the ships owned by a Japanese company, which again sent tensions in the Gulf soaring.

Iran has been locked in a bitter standoff with the United States since Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May last year.

Washington has since reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions—which have forced Tokyo to halt its once-substantial purchases of Iranian oil—and launched a military buildup in the Gulf.