Iran General NewsMP says Iran leader opposes direct talks with U.S.

MP says Iran leader opposes direct talks with U.S.

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ImageReuters: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opposes holding direct negotiations with the United States, a senior lawmaker said in comments published on Monday. ImageTEHRAN, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opposes holding direct negotiations with the United States, a senior lawmaker said in comments published on Monday.

"Presently, the Supreme National Security Council and the Supreme Leader emphasise that our strategic policies are based on the absence of negotiations with the United States," Hambastegi newspaper quoted vice speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar as saying.

"That is why we will not have any direct negotiations with the United States," Bahonar said at a meeting of an Islamic engineers association, the reformist daily reported.

Bahonar is a conservative MP who often criticises the government of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The United States severed ties with Tehran shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. But Iranian and U.S. officials took part in talks in Geneva on Oct. 1 aimed at resolving a long-running standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

In the Hambastegi report, Bahonar did not mention the Geneva meeting between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain or follow-up talks held in Vienna last week.

"The policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the absence of official negotiations with the United States … the conditions for such negotiations must emerge, which have not as yet emerged," Bahonar said. (Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Matthew Jones)

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