Khamenei: There won't be any war with the US

Iranian Supreme Leader says his country does not seek war with the US but will also not negotiate a new nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that his country does not seek war with the United States despite mounting tensions between the two countries.

In comments to senior officials carried by state television and quoted by Reuters, Khamenei also reiterated that the Islamic Republic would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal.

“There won’t be any war. The Iranian nation has chosen the path of resistance,” Khamenei said, according to the report.

“We don’t seek a war, and they don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests,” he added.

Tensions have increased between the two countries since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal last May. He later imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Since then, Trump has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, seeking to reduce its lifeblood oil exports to zero, to push Tehran into fresh negotiations on a broader arms control deal, targeting in part the Iranian ballistic missile program.

Last week, Trump urged Iran’s leaders to talk with him about giving up their nuclear program but also made clear he could not rule out a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

“(Such) negotiations are a poison,” Khamenei said Tuesday on the prospect of new talks with the US.

His comments follow Sunday’s incident in which four commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged offshore from the United Arab Emirates’ port of Fujairah just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

US national security agencies said on Monday that proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have been behind the attacks.

Iran has rejected the allegation and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that “extremist individuals” in the US government were pursuing dangerous policies, stoking a war of words with Washington over sanctions.