Iran’s Khamenei Forbids Any Negotiations with Trump

Iran’s Khamenei Forbids Any Negotiations with Trump

The price of oil saw a massive price spike Monday following drone strikes on a Saudi oil facility over the weekend that has shut off more than half of the kingdom's daily exports, or about 5% of the world's crude production.

Tension in the oil-producing Gulf region has dramatically escalated this year after Trump imposed severe US sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports altogether. And just last week, senior State Department advisor Brian Hook wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal arguing Iran "is effectively extending its borders, enlarging its sphere of influence, and launching lethal attacks against rivals" via the Houthis.

Experts say it could take weeks before the kingdom is able to restore full production at the facilities, according to The Telegraph. "Soon as we find out definitively, we'll let you know, but it does look that way".

This image provided on September 15, 2019, by the USA government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.

USA officials say they believe that the attacks came from the opposite direction, possibly from Iran itself rather than Yemen, and may have involved cruise missiles.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that there will be no negotiations between Iran and the United States at any level or any place.

If you think a single attack that took 5 percent of the world's oil supply offline temporarily is a problem, you should also consider what a full-fledged conflict among some of the world's biggest oil-producing countries would mean.

"If the U.S. backs off from its call, repents, and returns to the nuclear treaty it has breached, then it will be able to join the gathering of the parties to the deal (JCPOA) who hold meetings and talk with Iran, otherwise no negotiations will take place between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans at any level, not in NY and not anywhere else", Ayatollah Khamenei concluded.

Mr. Trump said the USA military is more prepared for conflict than ever, though he's proceeding with care.

But a day after warning that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond to the incident, Trump dialed down his rhetoric, saying on Monday there was "no rush" to do so and that Washington was coordinating with Gulf Arab and European states. Mr Khamenei told state television: "Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials".

U.S. -Iran relations deteriorated after Trump quit the accord and reimposed sanctions over Tehran's nuclear and ballistic programs.

Iran has rolled back its commitments under the nuclear deal, while attacks on a Saudi oil pipeline and tankers off the UAE coast in May this year were linked by the United States to Iran and Yemen's Houthis.

Trump, who has repeatedly stressed avoiding new Middle East wars, seemed intent on preserving room to maneuver in a crisis that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had immediately called Iran's fault. They have also exposed the vulnerability of the pumping heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry.

Will the attacks on Saudi oil facilities cripple global supplies?

Khamenei added that the policy of maximum pressure against Iran is worthless.

Sensing a commercial opening, President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to help Saudi Arabia by providing Russian-made air defence systems to protect Saudi infrastructure.

Iran-aligned rebel army the Houthis, who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the attack. Iran says there can be no talks until Washington lifts sanctions.

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