Iran's Khamenei wrecks Shinzo Abe’s mediation mission with one fell tweet

By bne IntelliNews June 13, 2019

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei essentially halted mediation efforts made by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by declaring that Iran would not repeat the “bitter experience” of negotiating with the US and that he would not entrust Abe with a message for Donald Trump because he is a man not worthy of such diplomacy, Khamenei’s official news service reported on June 13.

Before arriving in Iran on June 12, Abe hosted Trump when he paid a state visit to Japan. Trump encouraged Japan’s PM—the first Japanese leader to come to Iran in 41 years—to engage in some diplomacy between Washington and Tehran.

The horns of Iran and the US have remained locked since the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 in favour of launching a devastating economic sanctions campaign to force the Iranians to make Middle East concessions.

Khamenei rejected as “a lie” Trump’s claim that he was not after regime change in Iran, saying that if the US president were able to bring about such a move, he would pursue it.

June 2019
 

Khamenei appears to be doubling down on efforts to avoid all contact in public with the US. He said: “We do not believe at all that the U.S. is seeking genuine negotiations with Iran; because genuine negotiations would never come from a person like Trump. Genuineness is very rare among U.S. officials.”

He also tweeted: “You said Mr. @abeshinzo, that Trump has said negotiations with the U.S. would lead to Iran’s progress. By the Grace of God, without negotiations & despite sanctions, we will progress.”

Khamenei also took some potshots at former US President Barack Obama, saying: “After the nuclear deal, the first one to immediately breach [it] was Obama; the same person who had requested negotiations with Iran & had sent a mediator. This is our experience, & Mr. Abe, know that we won’t repeat the same experience.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on Twitter warning that certain parties appeared to be trying to frame Iran for the June 13 attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

June 2019

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