With sanctions on, talks offer ‘hypocritical’: Iranian minister

June 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s defense minister has questioned the sincerity of U.S. officials’ offer for unconditional negotiations, characterizing the offer as “bogus and hypocritical”.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his secretary of state Mike Pompeo have said recently that they are prepared to hold negotiations with Iran “without any preconditions.”

Speaking at the Defense Ministry's strategic council meeting on Saturday, Hatami said, “Iran's enemies, particularly the Great Satan America, and the Zionists, seize every opportunity such as explosions in a few ships in Fujairah to level accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“They have already put tens of conditions unilaterally and illegally against our country. They have exhausted all means such as economic war, sanctions, and political pressure,” Hatami said, according to the Iran Students News Agency (ISNA). 

Elsewhere in his remarks, the defense chief said “first the Zionists and then America benefit from insecurity in the region.”

The defense minister also cited a statement by Leader of the Islamic Revolution who told a large gathering last week that detente with the U.S., which has already imposed the severest sanctions on Iran, will be “more costly” than resisting it, saying, “We will steadfastly go on resisting and calling for the just. The mischief of the enemies will not make any hindrance against the progress of the Islamic Iran.” 

On Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei warned about the U.S. recourse to political approaches, saying these are aimed at creating the impression that Washington has abandoned subversive measures against the Islamic Republic.

He cited the example of Trump’s recent comments in Japan, where he said he was not pursuing regime change in Iran and that Islamic Republic “has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership.”

Addressing participants at the shrine of Imam Khomeini in south Tehran, the Leader said the U.S. president was trying to say that “we are prepared to accept you,” but cautioned “this is political shrewdness”.

“This does not dupe the Islamic Republic’s authorities and the Iranian nation. Americans have to stay away. Wherever America set foot, either war, sedition, exploitation, or imperialism has followed,” Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out.

Ayatollah Khamenei advised Washington to mind its own business and set its own house in order, reminding how the U.S. was grappling with high levels of crime, drug, and police brutality that was unmatched anywhere else in the world.

“We ourselves know (better) how to behave and act,” the Leader noted.

The Leader, however, noted that what the U.S. president had said in terms of Iran’s chances with its sitting leadership was “of course true,” but the condition for the Islamic Republic to make progress was that Washington “stay away”.

SP/PA

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