(TEHRAN, Iran) — The real power in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says direct talks with the U.S. are out of the question.
Maintaining a stance he’s held for nearly a quarter of a century, Iran’s supreme leader issued an edict on Thursday that effectively ends any possibility that Tehran will hold bilateral discussions on issues Washington deems vital to diminish Iran’s continued threat to the region’s stability.
On top of the administration’s list is convincing Iran to give up its rogue nuclear ambitions. The U.S. and the West dismiss any claim by Tehran that its quest for atomic power is purely for peaceful purposes, contending the real intent is to build a nuclear weapon it can use against Israel.
The ayatollah’s edict undercuts statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials who have recently indicated progress in potentially dealing with Washington.
According to Khamenei, the supreme leader since 1989, the U.S. only wants to engage in talks because America’s Middle East policies have not worked.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Lauren del Valle, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN