Delivering his Eid al-Adha address, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the idea of having nuclear talks with the US, and rejecting the possibility of getting rid of Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
The lack of a diplomatic track with the US is a problem for President Rouhani, who ran on a pro-diplomacy stance but has struggled to find any US partner to deal with. Since the US withdrew from the nuclear deal, Iranians believe the US can’t be trusted to keep their word.
The US offers talks, but also hypes demands and a “maximum pressure campaign” that convince many Iranians that diplomacy is a dead-end.
Khamenei reiterated his usual opposition to US sanctions, and said that the focus should be on Iranian self-sufficency. He singled out Iran’s energy industry and fighter jet development as proof that the nation can build things domestically.
Historically Iran would be importing a lot of equipment and arms. US sanctions and the UN embargo have made that all but impossible. The arms embargo will expire soon, but in the meantime Iran has gotten self-sufficient in military production.