Iran's Parliament Speaker rules out talks with US

Speaker of Iran's Parliament says Iran is not opposed to diplomacy and negotiations, but negotiations with the US are forbidden.

Elad Benari ,

Iranian Parliament in session
Iranian Parliament in session

Iran's Parliament Speaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, on Sunday ruled out the likelihood of any talks with the United States.

"Smart and active resistance" against the United States is a strategic option for the Iranian nation, Qalibaf told the parliament's open session, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Iran is not opposed to diplomacy and negotiations, but negotiations with the United States "are strictly forbidden and detrimental", he stressed.

The comments come a day after US President Donald Trump urged Iran to renegotiate the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, from which he withdrew in 2018.

A ban on selling conventional weapons to Iran ends in October under a 2015 Security Council resolution that blessed the nuclear deal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran.

The remarks have angered Iran, which has urged UN Security Council members to oppose what the US move.

In addition to the tensions over the nuclear deal, the US and Iran have had several close encounters in the Persian Gulf.

The US Navy recently issued a warning to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters away from US warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures”.

While no mention was made of Iran in the notice, it followed Trump’s threat to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels.

Trump’s warning came after a tense encounter between US and Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.

The US military said at the time that 11 Revolutionary Guards naval vessels from the Guards navy came close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged that the incident had taken place, but also claimed that it was American forces who sparked the incident.