Imam Khamenei

Why does Iran not accept to negotiate with the United States?

U.S. officials are liars, deceitful, untrustworthy and never keeping their words

During the negotiations, I said many times that they are ones who go back on their promises, that they are liars and that they do not stick to their promises. Now, you can witness the situation! Today, those who are saying that they go back on their promises is not only me. The honorable officials of the country and our negotiators themselves – who made all those efforts, who negotiated with them for a year and a half, who had several meetings outside the country for 10, 15, 20 days and who went through a lot of trouble and exerted themselves at the negotiating table - are saying these things as well.  Nov 2, 2016

The leaders of the domineering system are worried; their proposals generally involve deception and lies. Today, the Iranian nation, in addition to the criminal regime of the United States, regards a number of European governments as deceiving and unreliable. The Islamic Republic of Iran must prudently observe its boundaries with them; it should not retreat from its revolutionary and national values; it should not be scared by their void threats; and at all times, it should consider the dignity of the country and try to wisely, prudently and of course with a revolutionary standpoint settle the solvable problems it has in relations with them. In the case of the United States, no problem with them is seen to be resolved, and any negotiation with the U.S. will have no outcome but material and spiritual harms.  Feb 11, 2019 

 

The U.S. needs to make Iran come to the negotiating table

Another point on the issue of foreign policy is the issue of the United States. Some people are whispering that there might be negotiations amid the United Nations General Assembly session: this is definitely out of the question. --This is nonsense. Those slick and smooth-talking politicians [the former US administration] behaved deceitfully towards us. What can we expect from these brash, shameless, mischievous and quick-to-the-draw individuals? What type of negotiations should we have with them? This does not make any sense. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the staff in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not to mention Mr. President -- it would not make any sense to hold negotiations with them.

Of course, you know -- you may know it better than me -- that the US needs to negotiate with the Islamic Republic. The US administrations -- the former one, the current one, and the other ones -- all need to show that they have dragged a system like the Islamic Republic to the negotiating table. --This is what they need.

The day when Obama managed to speak to Mr. Rouhani on the phone, they celebrated the news there, and we heard about it later on in some form. They need this, but there is no necessity for us to fulfill this need of theirs. That is why we are opposed to negotiations, I have explained the reasons before, and I do not want to repeat them. Aug 29, 2018

One day, I mentioned this matter [Resistance Economy]. Fortunately today, I witness that economists, different officials and those who are familiar with economic matters of the country constantly repeat this. They say that it is not the case that the economic issues of the country are dependent on sanctions and that economic problems will be solved only if sanctions are lifted. Economic problems can be resolved with our own determination, intention, actions and measures whether sanctions exist or not. Of course, if sanctions do not exist, it will be easier to do so. If sanctions exist, it is a bit more difficult, but it is possible.

We have such an outlook towards negotiations, but the current government of America is in real need of these negotiations. One of the fundamental points that they raise in their performance sheet is that they have managed to bring the Islamic Republic to the negotiating table and impose such and such a thing on it. They need this. If the other side does not need these negotiations more than us - and it definitely does - at least it does not need it less than we do. So, why do they issue threats? I do not agree with those negotiations which are conducted under the shadow of threats. They can go and talk to them. They can negotiate and reach an agreement. This is alright - of course, if they observe the main guidelines - but they should not at all accept imposition, bullying, humiliation and threat.  May 6, 2015

 

Demanding immediate concessions in return for empty promises

They demand that the other party offer immediate profit: they don’t accept promises; they say they don’t trust anyone; --just as we experienced in JCPOA negotiations or in other cases. Now that they are negotiating with North Korea, the same is true: they demand immediate profits. If the other party refuses to create profits, they stir up a fuss around the world--via propaganda and media--saying the other party refuses to negotiate. They make such a vast propagation, that the other party usually surrenders. As a result, the other party usually becomes passive, in the face of all the propaganda.

Fourthly, the U.S. itself does not pay anything in exchange for what it takes from the other party. In any business deal, if you pay money you must receive a product. But the U.S. does not give anything back, it takes the immediate advantage like cash, and in exchange, they only offer promises; they make strong and firm promises by words like “without a doubt; no hesitation; or be sure of it.” The U.S. only makes such promises in order to enchant the other party with mere pledges. The other party believes the promises as they use such strong language. In the final stage, after receiving all the immediate advantages, the U.S. breaches their own promises: they forget their strongly verbalized promises. --This is the U.S.'s method of negotiating. Aug 13, 2018

The officials of our political and diplomatic affairs are explicitly saying that the Americans want to take everything, but give nothing in return! If you take one step backwards, they take one step forward. When we constantly say that we will not negotiate, some people say, “What is wrong with negotiations?” Well, this is the problem with negotiations. Such negotiations will make you deviate from your correct path and they will take concessions away from you. When you negotiate, this means that you should give a concession and get another in return. This is the meaning of negotiations. Negotiation does not mean gathering somewhere to engage in a friendly chat and to tell jokes. Negotiation means giving something and taking something else in return. However, he takes from you what you should give, but refuses to give what he should give to you. He acts in a bullying manner. “Arrogant” means this. “Global arrogance” means this. It means bullying, considering oneself as superior, refusing to be committed to one’s promises and regarding oneself as free of any commitment. This is the meaning of arrogance. Arrogant individuals go back on their promises[...] They give promises, but they do not act on them. They take a concession that is in cash, but they do not give the one that is on credit. This is America’s condition. Aug 1, 2016

 

Why did Imam Khomeini ban negotiations with the United States?

Negotiating with the United States was banned by Imam [Khomeini][...] I have also banned it. Imam [Khomeini] said, “We will not negotiate until the Americans act appropriately.” What does it mean? It means we hold to our position as long as the U.S. supports the Zionist Regime and the viscous forces in the region.

Now, if the government of the Islamic Republic was to negotiate with the American regime, at any time, it would never have negotiated with the present government of the United States. Everyone should know--our politicians, our diplomats, our motivated young people, our students in political sciences as well as political activists--they should all know that negotiating with a bullying regime such as the United States is not a means to eliminate hostility.

Negotiating is not a means to eliminate America’s hostility: it is a tool in its hands to apply hostility. You see, this is a definitive formula confirmed through our experiences and emphasized by various political considerations. Some say negotiating will reduce hostility; no, it does not reduce hostility, negotiating gives it [the enemy] the means to increase its hostile manner. So, we do not negotiate, and it is forbidden--everybody needs to understand this. Aug 13, 2018

 

The JCPOA experience proved that the U.S. is untrustworthy

The JCPOA became an example and an experience for us[...] This experience showed us that we cannot speak to them, on any matter, like a trustworthy party. Sometimes, you speak to your enemy, but you do it with an enemy who is committed to his statements so much so that you can be sure that he will not violate his promises and his commitments with any excuse. You can speak to this enemy. However, when it is proved that the enemy is malicious, one that has no scruples about breaking his promises, that smiles and speaks with a soft and glib tongue, and that justifies his actions when you ask him why he has broken his promises, then you should know that it is not possible to negotiate with this enemy. The reason why I have been repeating for many years that we will not negotiate with America is this. This shows that our problems with America and the likes of America on this matter, on regional matters and on various other matters are not solved through negotiations. We ourselves should choose a path and then take it.  Aug 1, 2016

We gained a new experience during nuclear negotiations. We should not forget about this experience. This experience is that if we compromise with America, he will not stop playing his destructive role. We experienced this during the nuclear negotiations. We held meetings with the 5+1 committee, and we even negotiated with the Americans separately on the nuclear matter. Our brothers and our diligent officials reached some agreements and results. The other side – America – made some commitments. The Islamic Republic fulfilled its commitments, but that untrustworthy, unreliable, and dishonest side is going back on their promises! The U.S. has continued to break their promises until today! Very well, then, this is an experience.

Of course, many people knew this even prior to that experience, but those who did not know should know it now! When you are discussing and arguing with America over any other matter, if you compromise and give in, he will preserve his destructive role. This is the outcome of all issues – on the issue of human rights, missiles, terrorism, Lebanon, and Palestine. Whenever you compromise and abandon your principles and your beliefs – of course, this is impossible – you should know that he will not get along with you. At first, he enters the arena with warm words and with a smile on his face, but when it is action time, he goes back on his promises, and he will not fulfill the commitments that he has made. This has become an experience for the people of Iran. You should attach great significance to this experience. Jun 3, 2016

Everyone should know this. We do not negotiate with America on regional issues. America's goals in the region are the exact opposite of our goals. We want security and peace in the region. We want the rule of peoples over their countries. America's policy in the region is to create insecurity. Take a look at Egypt, Libya and Syria. Arrogant governments - headed by America - have begun a counterattack against Islamic Awakening which has been created by nations. This counterattack is continuing in the present time and it is gradually creating a disastrous situation for nations. This is their goal which is the exact opposite of ours. We do not at all negotiate with America neither on regional issues nor on domestic issues or nor on the issue of weapons. Our negotiations with the Americans are confined to the nuclear issue and on how we can reach an agreement through diplomacy. Mar 21, 2015

Now, it has become clear what they do in practice! On the face of it, they give promises and they speak with a soft and glib tongue, but in practice, they hatch plots, damage us and prevent the progress of our affairs. This is America and this is an experience. In the present time, the Americans are asking us to go and speak to them about regional matters. Well, this experience tells us that this is a deadly poison for us. Aug 1, 2016

 

Why do we not negotiate with the U.S. on regional issues?

I have spoken at length about the issue of the Bar-Jaam[JCPOA].[...] So, I do not deem it necessary to speak anymore in this regard because of certain reasons. However, on the issue of the Bar-Jaam, something was proved to be true and that is the fact that the Americans are showing enmity towards us. They are showing enmity towards us. This enmity is being shown not only by the U.S. Congress – which is playing the role of Shimr [the cursed person who murdered Imam Hussein (a.s.)] – but also by the U.S. administration. These people who do not play the role of Shimr are also showing enmity towards us. However, their manner of showing enmity is different from the U.S. Congress. But they are showing enmity anyway. This has become clear.

Well, we should use these events as experience. Reason dictates that we respond to them with wisdom and with acumen, by taking the necessary precautions and by refusing to be deceived by them, to get close to their plot zone and to enter the arena that they have drawn. They very much like to sit and cooperate with Iran on issues related to the West Asia region – a region comprised of countries like Syria, Lebanon and other such countries – and they have said this openly. But we do not wish to do so. Their problem is Iran’s presence. They want to negotiate with the purpose of putting an end to Iran’s presence. So, what should we negotiate about? They say that Iran should not be present in this region at all. This is their problem and they want to solve it. Why should we help them resolve that problem? On the contrary, we do not want America to be present in that region. Therefore, this is what reason dictates.  Jul 2, 2016

 

Negotiating under the shadow of threats is nonsense!

I have repeatedly spoken about the nuclear negotiations and other such matters and we have said what we should have, but everyone - including our officials in charge of foreign policy, other officials and the outstanding personalities of society - should pay attention that if a people cannot properly defend their identity and greatness in the face of foreigners, then they will certainly receive a blow to the head [they will be humiliated]. There is no doubt about this. We should appreciate the value of our character and personality. The enemies issue threats. Just a few days ago, two American politicians issued military threats. And such threats are issued by many other politicians who do not have very important and sensitive positions. I do not understand. What does negotiation under the shadow of threats mean? They want us to negotiate under the shadow of threats! It appears as if there was a sword being brandished above our heads!

The people of Iran are not like this. The people of Iran do not tolerate negotiating under the shadow of threats. Why do they issue threats? Why do they say nonsense? They say that under such and such circumstances, they may attack Iran. First, the hell you will do such a thing [audience chants "Death to America!"]. You do not dare do so and second, I said during the time of the former President of America - at that time too, he used to issue threats - that the time of "hit and run" is over. It is not the case that you can say, "We will hit them and then we will run". This is not the case. Your feet will get stuck and we will chase you. The people of Iran will never let go of those who transgress against them. We will chase anyone who wants to do that.

Everyone - including our negotiators - should pay attention to this. Our negotiators should constantly take red lines and the main guidelines into consideration. Of course, they probably do so. By Allah's favor, they will take them into consideration and they will not cross these red lines. Nonetheless, it is not acceptable if they issue threats. Why do you issue threats? You do not need these negotiations less than us. Yes, we would like sanctions to be lifted, but even if this does not happen, we can manage on our own in other ways. This has been proven. May 6, 2015

 

What the U.S. means by negotiation is to impose their own demands
 

The Americans send messages to us through different channels, asking us to negotiate with them regarding the nuclear issue. They both send messages to us and discuss the proposal in their global propaganda. High- and middle-ranking officials of America repeatedly say that alongside the P5+1 talks regarding the nuclear issue, America and the Islamic Republic should hold one-on-one negotiations over the issue.

I am not optimistic about such negotiations. Why? Because our past experiences show that in the logic of the American gentlemen, negotiation does not mean sitting down together to try to reach a rational solution. This is not what they mean by negotiation. What they mean is that we should sit down together and talk so that Iran accepts their views. The goal has been announced in advance: Iran must accept their view. For this reason, we have always announced that this is not a negotiation. This is imposition and Iran will not give in to imposition. Mar 21, 2013

 

The US exploits nuclear negotiations as a pretext for exerting pressure on Iran

On the basis of our experiences and careful analysis of the existing conditions, our interpretation is that the Americans do not want the nuclear negotiations to end. The Americans do not want the nuclear conflict to be resolved, otherwise, if they wanted these negotiations to reach a solution, the solution would be very close by and easy to reach. In the nuclear issue, Iran only wants the world to recognize its right to enrichment, which is Iran's natural right. Government officials of the countries that are claiming to be after a solution should admit that the Iranian nation has a right to domestic nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes. Is this too much to expect? This is what we have always demanded, and it is exactly what they do not want [us to have].

They say they are concerned that we might go after producing nuclear weapons. The ones who are saying this are no more than a few countries whose names I mentioned earlier, and they call themselves "the global community". They say that the global community is concerned. No, the global community is not at all concerned. The majority of the countries in the world are on the Islamic Republic's side and they support our demand because it is a legitimate demand.

If the Americans wanted to resolve the issue, this would be a very simple solution: they could recognize the Iranian nation's right to enrichment and in order to address those concerns, they could enforce the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We were never opposed to the supervision and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Whenever we are close to a solution, the Americans cause a problem in order to prevent reaching a solution. My assumption and interpretation is that their goal is to keep the issue unresolved so that they can have a pretext for exerting pressure on us. And as they themselves said, the purpose of the pressure is to cripple the Iranian nation. Of course, much to the dismay of the enemy, the Iranian nation will not be crippled.  Mar 21, 2013