Khamenei Acknowledges Iran's Problems 'Internal,' Not Purely U.S. Sanctions

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Khamenei: Mismanagement More Harmful Than US Sanctions

Iran's supreme leader said Monday there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and that the country's problems were the result of government mismanagement more than renewed sanctions. "America never remains loyal to its promises in talks", Khamenei said, Reuters reported.

"If by some force of circumstance there was a possibility for the Iranian government to speak directly with the American regime, we would never negotiate with the current USA government", Khamenei said.

Mr Khamenei, whose remarks come amid a sharp fall in the rial currency, prompting angry protests, criticised the government of President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist cleric who championed the 2015 deal aimed at ending Iran's political and economic isolation. "War will not happen and we will not enter talks". "Negotiation with the bullying and very eager government of the USA means giving it an instrument through which it can add to its hostility", he said.

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Washington reimposed strict sanctions against Iran last Tuesday and Trump has threatened to penalise firms from other countries that continue to operate in the Islamic Republic.

Although the other parties to the agreement - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - have vowed to resist USA sanctions, many foreign companies have already abandoned projects in Iran for fear of U.S. penalties. "I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management".

"With better management and planning we can resist the sanctions and overcome them,"Khamenei said".

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With the nuclear deal crumbling, Rouhani finds himself with little to show for his five years in power and increasingly under fire from all sides.

Khamenei agreed, saying: "The goal (of the courts) should be to punish those guilty of corrupt economic practices swiftly and justly", the TV added.

There have been widespread protests and strikes in recent weeks over high prices, unemployment and structural failures in the economy. He also said some of the "red-lines" that Iran had designated in the nuclear deal were crossed, but did not specify which ones.

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