Senior Iranian cleric: Trump only wants negotiations for his re-election

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“To negotiate means to surrender,” ultra-conservative senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said on Thursday, claiming that the US President is “desperate” to bring Iran to the negotiating table to win the next presidential elections, semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“Today, to negotiate with America means to surrender, and the people of Iran have proved they are not ones to surrender,” said the senior member of the Assembly of Experts.

He claimed that US President Donald Trump is “after votes” and knows that he has to bring Iran to the negotiating table to get votes and show that he succeeded in making Iran surrender.

Khatami criticized calls in favor of negotiations with the US from within Iran and emphasized that “resistance” will result in “the defeat of the enemies,” according to Fars.

He also criticized the recent US sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and said that sanctioning Khamenei means sanctioning “the entire nation,” adding that these sanctions will only make Iranians “more determined to pursue resistance” and will cause more of them to chant “death to America”.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Judiciary Chief, Ebrahim Raisi also expressed his opposition to any Iran-US negotiations, saying that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has repeatedly explained in his speeches that “negotiations [with the US] have no benefits for us.”

“To negotiate means to let go of [our] values and strengths, which we have acquired through resistance,” said Raisi.

He claimed that “the whole world today is saying that Iran has the upper hand.”

Raisi added that Iran’s position today “was not obtained through negotiations, but through resistance.”

Also on the same day, spokesman of the republic’s foreign ministry, Abbas Mousavi said that the ministry follows an “active resistance” approach to deal with “hostilities”, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

“America and its allies, by simultaneously waging war, economic terrorism, and psychological war against the people of Iran, intend to target the forty-year-long resistance of Iranians,” said Mousavi, in a meeting with the representative of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the province of West Azerbaijan.

Mousavi added that “the foreign ministry, in line with the regime’s policy, follows the approach of active resistance to confront the hostilities.”

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