Iran won’t negotiate with U.S.: spokesman

September 28, 2020 - 15:19

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, rebuffed on Monday reports that Iran was secretly negotiating with U.S. officials in Oman, saying Tehran did not and will not negotiate with Washington.

Responding to a question on news media reports about alleged secret negotiations between Iran and the U.S. in Oman, the spokesman said, “There have been no negotiations, and there is not, and there will not be any negotiations.”

Khatibzadeh also responded to a question about U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks that he seeks to make a deal with Iran but Iran wants to wait until after the election.

“Recently, I was asked the same question that Trump has said, ‘after the election, I will be making a deal with Iran in half a day.’ He needs to make clear whether he will be making a deal with Iran in half a day or basically he will be tougher.”

President Trump has recently said that if he wins the November election, he will make a deal with Iran within a few weeks.

“If we win ... we will have a deal with Iran within four weeks,” he said in August, according to a video of his remarks from inside a New Jersey fundraiser.

However, Trump did a complete flip-flop by announcing that reaching a deal with Iran will be “much tougher” if he wins the election.  

“Whether it’s Iran, or whether it’s Venezuela … And they already want to talk. Everybody wants to talk, but they want to wait, I want to wait until after the election because I say, ‘Wait.’ And a year ago, I said, you have a choice. We can talk now, or we can talk after the election, but after the election, it’s going to be a much tougher deal.” Trump said while hosting a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable event on September 25 in Florida.

Khatibzadeh said Trump has no “proper understanding” of international relations.

“Mr. Trump has no proper understanding of the nature of international relations and U.S.-Iranian relations. His advisers are also not going to understand what happened. There have been no negotiations, and there is not, and there will not be any negotiation [with the U.S.], all of this is for domestic consumption. It may benefit Trump, but it does not benefit Iran-U.S. relations,” Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

He added, “The way is clear. The United States must first acknowledge its grave mistake and respect international rules and its obligations, as well as end this inhumane and all-out war and oppressive sanctions against the Iranian people, and compensate all the damage it has done to the Iranian people through this war. If it takes all these steps, it maybe finds a place for itself in a corner of the JCPOA room. We have nothing more to say. So they can say what they think will benefit them in their election.”

The spokesman underlined that Iran is not going to change its position.

“Our position is firm and clear, and if this question is asked a thousand times, we will give the same answer,” he noted.

SM/PA

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