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Iran's supreme leader says talks with US can only 'harm'

AP  |  Tehran 

Iran's said Wednesday that negotiations with the US "will bring nothing but material and spiritual harm" in remarks just ahead of an American-led meeting on the Mideast in that's expected to largely focus on the Islamic Republic.

The comments from Ayatollah were part of a seven-page statement read out word-for-word on Iranian state television and heavily promoted in the run-up to its release. They also come two days after marked amid heightened tensions between and Washington.

"About the United States, the resolution of any issues is not imaginable and negotiations with it will bring nothing but material and spiritual harm," Khamenei said.

The went on to describe any negotiations as an "unforgiveable mistake." He also said negotiations would be like "going on your knees before the enemy and kissing the claws of the wolf."

That tone is a long way from 2015, when Khamenei approved of talks between and the that resulted in the nuclear deal between and world powers. The deal saw limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

However, that deal came under the administration of former

Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise of tearing up the accord, withdrew the US from the deal last May. In the time since, the says Iran has kept up its side of the bargain, though officials in have increasingly threatened to resume higher enrichment.

Amid the new tensions, Iran's already-weakened economy has been further challenged. There have been sporadic protests in the country as well, incidents applauded by Trump amid Washington's maximalist approach to Tehran.

However, some have suggested Iranian leaders meet with Trump in a summit, much like North Korean leader Amir Mousavi, a former Iranian diplomat, has claimed that Trump sent a message to last week requesting direct talks.

Mousavi, speaking with Lebanese television station al-Mayadeen, said Trump is ready to visit Tehran and had sent several messages through intermediaries in There has been no acknowledgment of such a request from Washington.

The summit, which started Wednesday, was initially pegged to focus entirely on Iran. However, the US subsequently made it about the broader Middle East, to boost participation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 18:00 IST