Iran Leaders Send Mixed Signals on Possible Talks With US

Khamenei says no after Rouhani conditions talks on sanctions relief

President Trump has been keen to get started with negotiations with Iran. Iran’s leadership is sending some very mixed messages on the possibility, with President Hassan Rouhani suggesting talks might be possible if the US eased sanctions on Iran.

That’s pretty much as good as a no, since the administration seemingly would never ease sanctions on Iran, and even when the US negotiated an Iran deal involving easing sanctions, they never delivered n it.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tried to put the matter to bed in later comments anyhow, saying that there was no way Iran would be able to talk with the US right now. Khamenei far outranks Rouhani, so seemingly that’s that. But why the disagreement in the first place?

The two figures clearly have two different priorities in Iran. Rouhani is facing tough criticism for his inability to get the economy going, in no small part because of US sanctions. Khamenei, however, is in his position effectively for life, and can tolerate economic troubles if he believes it will put Iran in a better position in the long run.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of