Iran says no talks with US unless supreme leader approves

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s intelligence minister says any negotiations with the United States would have to be approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and would require the lifting of U.S. sanctions.

Khamenei has until now ruled out talks with the United States, saying it cannot be trusted.

On Thursday, the official IRNA news agency quoted Information Minister Mahmoud Alavi as saying “if the supreme leader permits, negotiations between Iran and the United States will be held.” He added, however, that Tehran would not negotiate under pressure.

Tensions have escalated since President Donald Trump withdrew America from Iran’s nuclear deal last year and restored heavy sanctions. The U.S. has recently moved a carrier group, bombers and fighter jets to the Persian Gulf, and last month Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone.

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