Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today rejected an offer of direct talks made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Munich Security Conference. Khamenei said the Americans are pointing their guns at Iran and yet offer direct talks. He also lashed out at Iranian officials who would agree to direct talks with the U.S.
Khamenei made the comments during a speech to the commanders and personnel of Iranian air force. Due to the importance of the speech, we have translated all its parts relevant to Iran-U.S. relations.
“Don’t say ball is in Iran’s court - the ball is in your (American) court; because you need to answer this question: Is negotiation with you, while you maintain pressures and threats, meaningful?
“Of course we feel their (American) needs for negotiations; their policies in the Middle East have faced defeat. They need to show a winning hand to compensate for their defeat.
“The (Americans) want to show the world that they have good intentions. But no one feels that… You continue your ‘crippling’ sanctions to paralyze the nation. Does this show good faith or bad faith?
“Talks for sake of talks, negotiations for tactical purposes, and proposals to hold talks to pose as a superpower are only cunning moves.
“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary. I speak in simple, candid and firm manner. The offer for direct talks is meaningful only if it’s done in good faith. They (Americans) are pointing their guns at Iranian nation and say: ’Talk or we’ll shoot.’ But you need to know that talks and pressure and threats are not compatible and our nation will not be intimidated.
“During a period after the revolution, some (Iranian) officials with optimism trusted the Americans, but they branded Iran ‘axis of evil’ and greatly affronted the Iranian nation.
“Talks and pressure are two separate ways. The Iranian nation will not accept to hold talks with those who resort to pressure and threats.
“If some people want to reestablish the American rule in Iran, and relinquish our national independence and abandon the country’s developments, the nation will rise up to face them. Even if I act against this popular will, people will protest it.”
To read the report on Khamenei’s speech by Mehr News Agency (in Farsi), please click here.
Note: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, responding to Biden’s offer at Munich Security Conference, had said earlier this week that Iran would give “positive consideration” to the possibility of direct talks with the U.S.
Photo credit: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a meeting with the commanders and personnel of Iran’s air force. Tehran, 9 February 2013. (Mehr News Agency)
Nader, I don't see anywhere in the speech where Khamenei states he has rejected talks with the United States. What he says is :
"Don’t say the ball is in Iran’s court - the ball is in your (American) court; because you need to answer this question: Is negotiation with you, while you maintain pressures and threats, meaningful?"
By "meaningful" he must be referring to the many compromises Iran has put forward in the past as well as the U.S. not being capable of taking "yes" for an answer at the 2010 Tehran Declaration. This is all well documented by former Bush administration national security officials, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett in their recent book "Going to Tehran."
Whatever the case, it's sad relations have sunk to such a low state. If only the Leverett's policy advocacy could somehow gain traction in DC, genuine U.S. interests would be served as well as improving the lives of ordinary Iranians inside Iran.
"I am a revolutionary" ; yes - killing and silencing your opponents is what a revolutionary does ; 'I am a Moron' would be a much more accurate description
Khamenei is not referring to the principles of talks in theory. He is giving his answer to Biden’s offer for direct talks with the U.S. at this time, by saying that Iran will not hold talks while under sanctions. And Biden perhaps suggesting that direct talks are needed to resolve issues.
I do agree that the current situation is not good for anyone. The two sides must talk and be willing to yield to each other in order to reach a compromise.
I believe at least until the June election, we cannot expect any major breakthrough o talks. The Iranian officials are obviously divided on the issue (as Khamenei referred to as diplomats vs. revolutionaries).
khamenei.ir just twitted the headline of Khamenei's speech:
"Iran's Leader rejects proposals for direct talks w/t US: I'm not a diplomat, I'm a revolutionary and I speak candidly."
Khak bar sareh arteshi ke beh yek Akhoond moftkhor salute nezami bedeh.
You can always count on this regime to shoot itself in the foot.
With the rejection of peaceful options they are playing into Hagel's strategy of making sure the world sees America trying to avoid war before it goes into war.
HAIL the Persian Sage of our time!!
Khamenei: I create Problems - I don't solve Problems - got it?
He knows that he can not have an open talk with USA and remain a Dictator at home; and since he rather sees Iran getting bombed than not to be a
Dictator , you get his conclusion; 'I am a revolutionary': there you see; it is about him - and not about what is good for the country (for example have a economy for millions of people)
Another Interesting point is that he has become now effectively the enforcer of American Sanctions on Iran - so in some sense he is switching sides ...
The lifetime ruler of the weaponizing nuke acquiring Messianic Islamic "Republic" Seyed Ali Khamenei rejected American offer of unconditional one on one talks to sort out the differences.
This once again has proven that Khamenei and the regime is the true enemy of Iranian people.
Still buzzing around?
Also I think, important decisions like this should be made after a national debate and not by just one person but personally I think US is not honest and Khamenei is sort of correct. Just yesterday, US, imposed in new set of illegal (since it is banning other countries) sanctions against Iranian people. Why Iran should sit and negotiate? If I want to negotiate with another person I do it when I see he is respecting me and my rights otherwise it is useless.
Really? And who is "respecting" the Iranian peoples rights?
But he says that while wearing his revolutionary hat and not diplomatic. Possibly signaling that officials in the administration may decide " or be allowed " to reach some sort of reconciliation with the west.
As always Nader, glass is half empty to you! :)
"He knows that he can not have an open talk with USA and remain a Dictator at home"
How the heck does that work?
You mean Khamenei, don't you? I just translated from Farsi what he said (and left the link to original report in Farsi) and reported to what headline was run on his Twitter. BTW, same headline was used in his Website. If you are unhappy, please rite to him and see what kind of response you would get. You cannot be (or cannot remain for long) anonymous when you write to him, however. Cheers!
Supreme Leader again exercises his rights in crucial and extraordinary situation to give again his correct guidances to the nation, at the time where some people may perceive mistaken, naive (joyful) expectations of hopes.
Supreme Leader has said that 4 years ago on the US proposal for negotiations " at that time, we said that we would not have predjudgment, and wait for their next step. But during 4 years, we have seen nothing positive from them, other than that they have continued conspiracies, provided help for Iran's internal opposition's provocation of unrest, and assasinated Iranian nuclear scientists," asserted the Leader.
In continuation of my thoughts, I have to add that the current situation will not yeld any possibility for any negotiations, unless the US will fold any old sanctions from previous years down and that is the precondition translated by the Supreme Leader's speech. Minister Salehi has expressed preliminary interest but the Leader comments will determine any decision about any deadlines of any meeting in that matters.
To simply put it into the table the US have to withdraw or suspend not only the newest but also majority of sanctions imposed after the 2009 year.
It's the Iranians who need the negotiations, Af, and the sanctions are only going to remain in place and cripple the Iranian economy and aspirations until the Iranian nuclear weapons development program ceases.
Nader, it turns out there's a problem with your rendering of Khamenei's speech.
Where you claimed he said:
“The Iranian nation will not accept to hold talks with those who resort to pressure and threats."
You left out the important condition:
“Iran will never accept to negotiate with he who threatens us with pressure. The offer of talks is meaningful when the other side shows goodwill.”
Thus Khamenei is open to talks, but goodwill is necessary. That's different than characterizing it as a rejection.
I learned this from neutral Iran observers, the Leveretts, who once again successfully predicted this eventuality based on their proven reliable analyses.
This statement from Khamenei came after America's new wave of sanctions against Iran. The US deliberately placed sanctions on Iran at this time in order to sabotage any possible negotiation. This is simply not how diplomacy works; if you seek to make a genuine deal, you do not anger the other side needlessly by sanctioning them, hence Khamenei's statement that Iran will not negotiations AS LONG AS America behaves thusly. Iran will never change its course of action under such pressure.
You want to make a deal with Iran? Treat them as equals. Show good faith. Come with reasonable concessions to the table (no, Iran dropping its nuclear program entirely for spare air plane parts is in no way a fair deal).
even though it is hard to negotiate with criminals,but iran has left the door open for so many years.iran will negotiate with any country ,but israel because they are a fabricated entity.how ever leader is correct this game of cats and mouse will not work.u.s right before any p+5 meeting slams iran with a new illegal sanctions to disrupt any chance of negotiations.u.s has ill intentions and wants to bully iran with barrel of gun pointing at us to kill us.this is not negotiations,this is extortion,u.s policies have failed in the region and wants to use iran as wining card in its schems.it won't work with iran "your carrots and sticks" policy is for animals not for a civilized people of iran.u.s has no intention to work with iran.60 years of deception and abetting seditions,terrorism,killing scientists,illegal sanctions,cyber attacks,cutting off medicine to iranians who are sick,is a good picture of u.s true ill intentions towards iran..
'I am not a Diplomat' means I do not care about Iran; a Diplomat represents the Interests of a Country; he is responsible for that Country; 'I am a revolutionary' means I care about Arabs; their cause is my cause; that is his bottom line ...
Because the regime policy from its inception was based on anti US/Western/Israel propaganda.
Sure A-F,"his correct guidance to the nation" alright.Like guiding it to the hidden iman,right?
"even though it is hard to negotiate with criminals,"
Your right the West (your place of residence) should not negotiate with the criminal terrorist regime which butchers its own people in the name of Allah.
Enjoying your stay in the West you little hypocrite?
Before consulting with Leveretts, I wish you had read my post; it was in English! This is what he said on that subject and I translated it verbatim:
“The (Americans) want to show the world that they have good intentions. But no one feels that… You continue your ‘crippling’ sanctions to paralyze the nation. Does this show good faith or bad faith?”
“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary. I speak in simple, candid and firm manner. The offer for direct talks is meaningful only if it’s done in good faith. They (Americans) are pointing their guns at Iranian nation and say: ’Talk or we’ll shoot.’ But you need to know that talks and pressure and threats are not compatible and our nation will not be intimidated.”
“Talks and pressure are two separate ways. The Iranian nation will not accept to hold talks with those who resort to pressure and threats.”
If you have a problem, it’s not with my translation. It’s with Khamenei’s speech. He rejected Biden’s offer of direct talks at this time, practically tying any talks to lifting of all sanctions before the talks start.
Of course this could be a negotiation tactic, but if it’s not, Khamenei has not left much room for himself. Please note you talk and negotiate with your enemies all the time. Putting this type of pre-conditions normally doesn’t work. Basically he’s saying let’s normalize relations, before we talk. Why then do we need negotiations then? I personally believe he will change his tactic after the June election.
In this speech, Khamenei is saying that the U.S. needs to lift sanctions and the threat of military force before Iran is ready to negotiate with them. That’s not what happens in real world; even the “revolutionaries” need to know that. He is practically saying that the U.S. should normalize its relations with Iran before any direct negotiations can start. But then why do we need to negotiate if all issues are resolved beforehand. This is a strange tactic, unless it’s done to buy time until the June election.
You need to talk with everyone, even and more importantly with your adversaries. Pre-conditions normally are not all that helpful.
Nader jan come on,
will you hold talks with someone who put a gun on you and say thats my way...for talks....so called preconditions...i but a lot of military in front of your house and than we will have relaxed talks? This is Wild Wild West system... :(
Many of these anonymouses are simpletons. Lets think: who makes decisions in America?
America is governed by 36 senatorial and congressional committees- not the president. Now, go and make a research who heads those commitees and generally, who controls them.
The senate has already passed a bill (or is it about to) curtailing the power of the president to abolish the sanctions imposed on Iran. Only the senate will decide on that. Again, who controls the senate. See the last time they voted against Iran the opposing side had how many votes? And you will know.
Nader, I was expecting that you are intelligent...perhaps you are, only your bias against Iran and blindness to America's arrogance betray your intelligence. Khamenei rejecting Biden's offer? My shoe, which offer? It was a half-hearted suggestion that we might/may perhaps meet if you were serious!
You expected Khamenai to jump at it?! Just a few minutes before new sanctions were announced? I think you think the Iranians are either stupid or a frightened lot!
wars are ended through peace talks and that happens after the guns have been repeatedly fired.....and wars are prevented through peace talks.
the sanctions weren't imposed suddenly and Khamenei had years and many opportunities to avoid being under the sanctions that now exist.
the sanctions aren't going to go away unless he not only holds talks but reaches an agreement.
Neither! Thinking that you can only talk to your adversary after they have changed their views and behavior toward either comes from ignorance of diplomatic work by a "revolutionary" or a tactic to delay talks until the presidential election in June. I believe it is the latter.
And in your future comments, please save your energy trying to analyze my attitude and motivation and spend your time on constructing a better argument on the topic under discussion. Discuss the message, not the messenger! Is that so hard to do?
@tubtwitanger...."Many of these anonymouses are simpletons".
And this coming from a person that can't face the truths about the Rapist Theocracy and then resorts to name calling.
Wash your eyes Mr. Mark.
The sanctions are meant to criple possibilities of achievements that will create Iran as a strong industrialized nations with leading scientific achievements and respect of the nation.
The sanctions have been meant to stay not because nuclear achievements, but that the Zionist's conspiracy is going to weaken and subdue any neighboring countries, with potentials to overgrow the Zionist's potential and influence.
Their goals are to insert culture of nation's decays and to insert seeds of conflicts between different ethnic groups in the country.
Finally the sanctions are designed to undermine the system of the country and its demise...
That is all the truth about strategy of the Zionists, who control policies of the West.
I could not deduced that Khamenei was saying that the US must lift sanctions before Iran negotiations. When Khamenei said:
“The (Americans) want to show the world that they have good intentions. But no one feels that… You continue your ‘crippling’ sanctions to paralyze the nation. Does this show good faith or bad faith?"
He is clearly implying that the US is deliberately sabotaging negotiations due to its recent sanctions placed on Iran just before negotiations, which goes back to my initial comment. The US is not serious about negotiating with Iran.
He did clearly state that threatening Iran militarily will not bend Iran's knee. He is in no way stating that the US should normalize relationships with Iran before negotiations.
I beg to disagree.
Please read our newer post on Friday on foreign ministry spokesman's announcing Iran's pre-conditions for U.S. talks. They want the U.S. change its "views and behavior" before holding talks. The question remains, If the U.S. should change its views and behavior before the talks, then what is so critical or urgent to hold those talks? Strange pre-conditions!
A-F I hope you are right. In that case long live the Zionists !
I don't know where you live or which nation is blessed with your citizenship, but your comment concerning political authority (and power) in the US is not an informed one and it exudes a noisome aroma.
Most people hold US responsible for their hardship and also support nuclear activity. It is sort of consistent with Khameneie's response to USA
"Their goal are to insert culture of nation's decays and to seeds of conflict between ethnic groups in the country."
Don't worry A-F the Islamist mafia culture has already lead to the demise of Iran without the help of the "Zionists". Ommat has replaced Mellat and Shiite bigotry is forcing other faiths into the defensive.Even possible breakup of the nation.
Mr. Uskowi, I kindly suggest to feature Anon's post at 9:28 PM. Thank you.
Here is the link again:
For those commentators who still argue that Khamenei was not rejecting direct talks with the U.S. at this time. Following is what Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of IRGC, said on Friday in Tehran:
“The wise leader of the revolution in his speech...annulled negotiations with America and this demonstrated that the root of velayat [clerical leadership] in the country is deep and strong and our country does not fear [foreign] powers,” Gen. Salami said. “Our country has become self-sufficient in its defense production and we can soon export our military products abroad.” (EA World View)
They all live under the Aba of Velayats ignorance.
Hello, maybe we can sell our amazing weapons to our great friends in Venezuela???
Chavez Risks Backlash After Venezuela Devalues Bolivar 32%
Where does the 12th Inman see Iran on the Big Mac Index???
Birds of a feather, indeed!
There are few ways for development if you exclude sanctions...USA sanctioned all countries which wanted to follow a different path in development.
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