Talks between Iran and the United States will not resolve their ongoing issues or calm the protests sweeping throughout the Islamic Republic, according to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei.
In a speech this week, Khamanei stated that "Some people claim to have political understanding, but their analyses in newspapers and online really make one sad. They say that in order to end these riots, you must solve your issues with America." He rejected that notion, however, stressing "Negotiations will not solve our problem with America."
According to the Iranian leader, the US only seeks to gain ransom and will hold nations hostage to attain it. "You have to pay ransom regularly; one after another. America will not be satisfied with anything less than this." He added that "Anyone who is Iranian and has zeal is not willing to pay these ransoms…America wants the Iranian nation to cross all of its red lines."
Talks between Tehran and western powers – including indirectly with Washington – have attempted to revive the 2015 nuclear deal after the former US administration of Donald Trump withdrew from it four years ago. Since the negotiation started in Vienna in April last year, they have constantly been stalled for a variety of reasons and no agreement has come about so far.
Khamanei also addressed the ongoing protests which have spread across Iran over the past two months, caused by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. Maintaining that the unrest was planned and ignited by western governments and intelligence services, he called the protesters a small group of people who are "either oblivious, ignorant, or mercenaries."