Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced in a statement Monday that there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States.
"Recently, U.S. officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations," the senior cleric wrote via his Twitter account in English.
He added, using all caps to close the statement, "In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S."
It appears Khamenei was referencing President Trump's surprise words given at a July 31st White House press conference wherein he said, “I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know if they’re ready yet.”
The entirely unexpected — though not outside the norm of Trump's off the cuff style — overture caught Iran's leadership off guard as a direct response to the idea of direct talks with no preconditions met with no immediate response, only mixed reactions later that week from Iranian lawmakers, the majority of which slammed the idea as "a humiliation" to sit down with Trump at a moment the White House was strangling the Iranian economy with multiple impending rounds of sanctions primarily targeting gold and other metals trading in Iran, and the country's ability to purchase of dollars and its auto industry.
Khamenei, in his most comprehensive series of English statements since Trump's offer of face to face talks, slammed the door permanently on the idea of ever sitting down with the Trump administration, saying in a separate tweet Monday morning, "Even if we ever—impossible as it is—negotiated with the U.S., it would never ever be with the current U.S. administration."
Recently, U.S. officials have been talking blatantly about us. Beside sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations. In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S..— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) August 13, 2018
In near simultaneous statements addressed to the Iranian public in a speech aired on state TV, the supreme leader who has the final word over all affairs in the Islamic republic, issued the directive: “I ban holding any talks with America... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks.”
“America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted,” state TV quoted Khamenei further.
As part of his series of tweets, some of which mocked Trump's policy in the Middle East, Khamenei published an infographic presenting his position on ratcheting tensions with the U.S.
Why do we not negotiate with the U.S.? pic.twitter.com/4LDBfDjRw1— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) August 13, 2018
He also slammed the idea that this was the first such offer of talks, saying that Iran has proudly resisted unfair and imbalanced U.S. offers of negotiations for decades, and even cited President Ronald Reagan's sending his national security advisor, Robert McFarlane to Tehran for failed negotiations.
Notably, he appeared to troll Trump personally as well as his cabinet in the following:
A stupid man tells the Iranian nation that 'your government spends your money on Syria'. This is while his boss-- the U.S. president-- has admitted he spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East without gaining anything in return!
A stupid man tells the Iranian nation that 'your government spends your money on Syria'. This is while his boss-- the U.S. president-- has admitted he spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East without gaining anything in return!— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) August 13, 2018
The top Iranian cleric also briefly referenced Iran's domestic crisis, which has included sporadic protests and clashes with the police throughout the summer in response to a plummeting rial and inability of people to access imported goods, stating "Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside; they are internal."
He urged the country to resist sanctions and erect "prudent" ways shielding from their effects.
It will be interesting to see if Trump responds to this directly in a tweet, or if any official reaction will be forthcoming from the White House.
But in the meantime it appears the possibility of any renegotiation after Trump's official pullout of the JCPOA last May has just had to the door slammed on it.