Iranian Assembly of Experts Chairman Ahmad Jannati warned on Tuesday against a possible meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which will be held from September 18-25.
Jannati added that Europe is not helping to preserve the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers by demanding additional talks on issues like Tehran's ballistic missiles
The Assembly is one of the most powerful bodies in the country, as it has the power to select and dismiss Iran’s supreme leader. It is a group of 88 conservative clerics and began its two-day semi-annual meeting on Tuesday.
In his speech, Jannati criticized European calls for discussions on Iran’s ballistic missiles and role in the region.
"Europe has announced that they won't leave the deal. In practice, by bringing up a discussion of missiles and other issues, they are not following an appropriate path," he was quoted as saying.
Referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s recent remarks, the top cleric called on Europeans to "prove good will".
Jannati went on to say that the US and its allies want to harm the country, however, Iran will resist and turn the sanctions into opportunities. He said it is a “vicious plot” by the enemy to attribute problems to the supreme leader, noting that Khamenei is seeking the “implementation of plans in order to solve the country’s problems”.
On Tuesday, Khamenei's official website published part of his speech during a meeting with members of the Iranian government last week.
He referred to a telephone conversation coinciding with the start of the nuclear negotiations between Rouhani and former US President Barack Obama on September 27, 2013.
He said "the White House held celebrations after the telephone call," while not disclosing how he acquired this information.
"There is no need for any negotiations with them [US officials]. Not just the president but the foreign and intelligence ministers as well,” Khamenei said.
On August 30, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that Iran and world powers "must talk" on certain "subjects that worry" the West.
The minister asserted that Iran cannot avoid discussions, negotiations on three other major subjects that worry Europe, such as the future of Iran's nuclear commitments after 2025, the ballistic issue and the fact there is a “sort of ballistic proliferation on the part of Iran...and the role Iran plays to stabilize the whole region.”
In May, Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. The other signatory countries: China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany are trying to find ways to salvage the deal.
Last month, the European Union approved a $21 million aid to Iran to compensate the impact of US sanctions as part of efforts to save the deal.
On Sunday, Reformist Iranian leader Mehdi Karroubi called on the Assembly of Experts to confront the “despotism” of the supreme leader.
Karroubi, a Green Movement opposition leader, has called upon the assembly to hold Khamenei accountable for three decades of policies that have pushed the country to its current situation.
He said the constitution needs another amendment in favor of putting the ruling establishment under the nation’s supervision and forever end the era of power being monopolized by a single individual.
Karoubi said Khamenei should explain the reasons behind the involvement of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Basij and police in banking and oil trade.
“I explicitly say that under such management, the country has been pushed back to the pre-Constitution Qajar dynasty era,” he wrote.
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