No talks with the US at any level, says Iran’s supreme leader

Dubai: Iran’s supreme leader says “there will be no talks with the US at any level” – remarks apparently meant to end all speculation about a possible US-Iran meeting between the two countries’ presidents at the UN later this month.

Iranian state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been personally sanctioned by the Trump administration, as saying this was the position of the entire leadership of the country and that “all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe” this.

“There will be no talks with the US at any level,” he said.

His comments come as Iran faces allegations it is behind a devastating weekend attack on a Saudi oil field and the world’s largest crude oil processing plant that knocked out 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production per day, or about 5 per cent of the world’s daily production. It also took out 2 billion cubic feet of daily gas production.

Aramco, the Saudi oil company targeted, said no workers were injured in the attack.

The attack early on Saturday on the kingdom’s facilities in the east was claimed as multiple drone strikes by Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, however, says the attack did not come from Yemen and said initial investigations show Iranian weapons were used. The kingdom, though, has not yet said where the attack was launched from or what kind of weapons were involved.

The US has made similar allegations, going so far as to say the attack may have been launched from Iran itself or nearby Iraq, where Iran has powerful proxy militias on the ground.

Iran has denied the charges.

Read the article in The Sydney Morning Herald (AP).