Iran's Supreme Leader Mocks U.S. 'Confused Policies' After Trump Claims He Never Offered Talks With 'No Preconditions'

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has dismissed President Donald Trump's "confused policies" and ruled out any negotiation with the U.S. at any level until the White House re-enters the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Tensions are once again on the rise between Washington and Tehran following this weekend's attack on vital Saudi oil infrastructure. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen—who have been fighting against a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 as part of the country's civil war—have claimed responsibility for the strike, but U.S. officials have instead pointed the finger at Iran.

Diplomatic efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron had raised hopes that Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani might at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York, but the operation against the Saudis seems to have torpedoed the proposal.

On Tuesday, the ayatollah confirmed Iranian officials' suggestions that sit-down talks were off the table. "If America takes back its words and repents and returns to the nuclear deal, which they have violated, they can take part in the meetings of signatories to this agreement with Iran," Khamenei told reporters, according to the Mehr news agency.

"Otherwise, no negotiation on any level will happen between officials of the Islamic Republic and America, neither in New York nor anywhere else."

Trump has previously said he would agree to a meeting with the Iranian president with "no preconditions," though is now claiming he said no such thing. This weekend, he tweeted an attack on the "Fake News" for reporting his comments. "That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)" he wrote.

Major media outlets including The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN and MSNBC all collated multiple instances of Trump or senior administration officials saying the president would agree to talks without preconditions.

On Tuesday, Khamenei mocked the administration's erratic diplomacy, suggesting such behavior does not lend itself to successful negotiation. "Sometimes they call for negotiations with no preconditions and other times they talk of negotiations under 12 conditions," he said.

"These contradictory remarks are either a sign of their confused policies or is a trick to confuse the other side. Of course the Islamic Republic will not be confused since our path is clear and we are aware of what we do."

Khamenei dismissed the "insolent demands" made by the Trump administration, which is leveraging diplomatic and economic measures to try and force Tehran into a new, more restrictive version of the nuclear deal.

The White House wants tighter restrictions on Iran's nuclear program as well as restrictions on the country's ballistic missile development and regional influence. Tehran has, thus far, refused to consider such an agreement.

As such, the U.S. is pursuing a "maximum pressure" approach to stifle Iran's economy, cut its oil exports to zero and force it to negotiate. Khamenei said Tuesday that Iran's leadership could not allow the strategy to work.

"If the enemy could prove the effectiveness of maximum pressure on Iran, then Iran and our beloved nation will no longer experience comfort, because this will be put behind all America's arrogant policies," he told journalists.

"And from then on, in response to their bullying demands from the Islamic Republic, if we say 'yes' the issue will be closed, but if we say 'no' the maximum pressure would start again."

Ali Khamenei, Donald Trump, Iran, nuclear deal
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is pictured casting the first ballot in elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts in Tehran, Iran, on February 26, 2016. Scott Peterson/Getty Images/Getty
Iran's Supreme Leader Mocks U.S. 'Confused Policies' After Trump Claims He Never Offered Talks With 'No Preconditions' | News