Iran Supreme Leader calls for action to face 'economic war'

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If anyone was unsure what Iran's supreme leader thought of President Trump's offer to hold talks after the U.S. reimposed "the most biting sanctions" on Iran last week, all doubt has been removed, per Reuters. "The Islamic Republic has proven that any invader will be dealt a bigger strike".

"Negotiations with the USA would definitely harm us and they are forbidden", Khamenei said, adding that the Americans had proven they could not be trusted. Iranian officials had already rejected the offer but it is the first time Mr Khamenei has publicly commented. Khamenei referenced the secret 1986 trip to Tehran by President Ronald Reagan's former national security adviser Robert McFarlane in an effort to begin high-level talks; the attempt wound up being rebuffed.

But Khamenei ruled out the possibility of war with the United States.

European signatories still back the nuclear deal.

"Our will to enhance our defense power in all fields will increase if the pressure mounts on Iran", Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said after unveiling the "fully home-made precision-guided" missile.

"For what reason should one sit at the negotiating table with a bullying and dishonest regime?" the Leader asks.

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He said that anyone who negotiates with America will encounter problems unless they align their policies with the United States.

"Not that sanctions don't have an impact, but the main factor is how we handle them".

Khamenei's comments also sought to downplay the impact of U.S. sanctions, seemingly an attempt to address protests over Iran's economic woes, Khamenei blamed government mismanagement of the economy for the struggles, not USA sanctions.

Iranian media quoted Khamenei as saying in a brief statement issued on August 11 that punishments for those accused of economic corruption should be "carried out swiftly and justly". He added, however, that even Europe, which is aligned with most USA policies, is being bullied by the current U.S. administration. "When the price of the rial drops like this, it is the day laborer who has nothing left".

State news agency IRNA reported on Monday that Iran is offering oil and gas at a discount to Asian customers in a bid to retain sales.

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