Tehran — Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran has no plans to give up its missile program and be deceived by President Trump’s offer of negotiations.
Trump has condemned the nuclear deal between Iran and global powers signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Washington pulled out of this deal last year.
Trump has criticized the deal for not cover Iran’s ballistic missile program and has called on Iran to negotiate a new deal.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei said the missile program allowed Iran a level of deterrence and stability, something Trump’s wanted to deprive the nation of.
“The U.S. president recently said Iran can achieve development with its current leaders,” he said. “That means they do no seek regime change… But this political trick will not deceive Iranian officials and the Iranian nation.”
President Hassan Rouhani seemed more open to negotiations if the U.S. showed Iran respect and lifted sanctions against it.
According to Reuters, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the U.S. was prepared to engage with Iran without pre-conditions about its nuclear program. Iran dismissed the offer as “word-play.”