TEHRAN.- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that his country would not hold any future negotiations with the United States in a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran on Thursday.
Abe, who finished his two-day trip in Tehran with the meeting, told Khamenei that he wanted to give him a message from the US President Donald Trump.
Khamenei replied, according to a statement released online: «We do not doubt your sincerity and goodwill.
«However, regarding what you mentioned about the President of the US, I do not consider Trump as a person worth exchanging any message with and I have no answer for him, nor will I respond to him in the future.»
Khamenei said that the country had spent years negotiating to reach an agreement on its nuclear program with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members in 2015, which the US unilaterally pulled out of last year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
«What common sense would once again allow negotiations with a state that has thrown away everything that was agreed upon?» Khamenei added.
The Iranian leader said that Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industries immediately after his meeting with Abe last month.
«Is this a message of honesty? Does this show that he wants to hold honest talks?» Khamenei asked.
«This is our experience, and rest assured Mr Abe that we will not repeat it,» the Iranian leader added.
Japan’s premier insisted during the meeting that the US was not seeking a regime change in Iran.
Khamenei responded: «Our problem with the United States is not about regime change.»
He added: «What Trump says, that he is not after regime change, is a lie. For, if he could do so, he would. However, he is not capable of doing it.»
Abe left for Iran Wednesday to hold discussions aiming at lowering tensions and contributing to peace and stability in the region.
His trip was the first official one to be made by a Japanese prime minister to Iran in 41 years.
Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated after the latter announced it would reinforce its troops deployed in the Middle East and designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, to which Tehran responded by putting US troops deployed in the Middle East on its list of extremist groups.