There Won’t Be a War and We Won’t Negotiate: Imam Khamenei

May 8, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

The U.S. also talks about the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the same blatant and shameless rhetoric. What do they say? Beside sanctions, they talk about two things: war and negotiations. Of course, they do not openly talk about war, but they intend to imply—by hints, sarcasm, and the like—that there might be a war. They present a big myth of war that would scare the Iranian nation or scare cowards. We also have a number of cowards: they want to scare them. So on the one hand, they create this big myth of war; on the other hand, they mention negotiations, saying they are ready to negotiate with Iran.

On the matter of negotiations, they play a poor game. One of them says, "Negotiations with preconditions," another one says, "negotiations without preconditions." --This is a poor political game, not even worthy of dealing with. Let me address the people on each of these matters in a few words, but before that, I will concisely refer to two facts for the Iranian nation: there will be no war; nor will we negotiate with the U.S. This is the gist of the word that all the Iranian people should know. There is strong evidence behind it: this is not a mere claim, not a wish, or a slogan; rather, it is based on reasoning.

No war will happen. Why? Because in a war there are two parties: one party being us and the other the U.S., just as we have never previously been, we will never be the initiator of a war. The Islamic Republic is proud that it has never initiated a war. Though we have had wars; the initiator has always been the opponent. If the opponent initiates a war, we will act with strength; but we will not initiate a war. --This is the case for our part. The U.S. won't launch a war because they know it would end to their detriment: because the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation have proven that any invasion would be responded to by a greater blow. --This has been the case so far.

The U.S. attacked us once—you remember, Operation Eagle Claw at Tabas desert in 1980—they were trapped into a debacle and had to fly back home! It is true that there are many things they do not understand, but I think, they're not so [silly] not to understand this. There won't be a war; there certainly won't.

Now, concerning the matter of negotiations, the U.S. president claimed they were ready to negotiate with us. Also, a group of people here—I do not know how to refer to this group—said: “Wow! The U.S. has suggested negotiations with us.” The U.S. has now offered to carry out negotiations: this is nothing new.

During the past forty years, they have sought out negotiations with Iran. Ronald Reagan, the powerful U.S. president-- the U.S. of that time was very different from today; Reagan was more powerful than the current president and politicians in the U.S.-- even secretly sent an agent to Tehran (the well-known Robert McFarlane case). An agent was sent to Mehrabad airport at the time of Imam [Khomeini (r.a.)], but he went back home empty-handed. --This is not the first time they are asking! They have always asked for it, but we rejected them, we didn’t accept. Now, I will tell you why we did not accept. We never accepted, and we will not accept it now. The Americans have always wanted to negotiate with us. Now, why don't we negotiate? The reason is this: the Americans have a formula for their negotiations that I am going to explain to you. Then, you decide if a wise person would negotiate with such a formula.

Firstly, negotiations of the political code is not a gathering for mere greetings and speaking. Negotiating means making a deal: it means the two parties sit for taking something and offering in return. --This is how a real political negotiation is. Because the Americans rely on military power, money, and media power when they want to negotiate with a party, they determine their main goals before starting the negotiation. They might openly express some of their goals, but not all. During the negotiations, they constantly change their words, they add new things, they bargain; however, key goals are determined for them. --This is one thing.

Secondly, they won’t retreat, even a step away, from these goals. Sometimes, they might mention some unimportant, marginal goals, and they withdraw from them to pretend as if they would retreat. Nevertheless, they, by no means, retreat from their main goals: they offer no advantages.

Thirdly, they demand that the other party offer immediate profit: they don’t accept promises; they say they don’t trust anyone; --just as we experienced in JCPOA negotiations or in other cases. Now that they are negotiating with North Korea, the same is true: they demand immediate profits. If the other party refuses to create profits, they stir up a fuss around the world--via propaganda and media--saying the other party refuses to negotiate. They make such a vast propagation, that the other party usually surrenders. As a result, the other party usually becomes passive, in face of all the propaganda.

Fourthly, the U.S. itself does not pay anything in exchange for what it takes from the other party. In any business deal, if you pay money you must receive a product. But the U.S. does not give anything back, it takes the immediate advantage like cash, and in exchange, they only offer promises; they make strong and firm promises by words like “without a doubt; no hesitation; or be sure of it.” The U.S. only makes such promises in order to enchant the other party with mere pledges. The other party believes the promises as they use such strong language.

In the final stage, after receiving all the immediate advantages, the U.S. breaches their own promises: they forget their strongly verbalized promises. --This is the U.S.'s method of negotiating. Now should we negotiate with such a sham of a government? Why should we negotiate? The JCPOA was a clear example. This is while I was very strict about it—yet, the red lines were not respected. Still, the other party acted in such a manner. So, it is impossible to negotiate with this government.

On various issues, any government that negotiates with this government, it [the U.S.] makes problems for them. Unless they have common grounds, like Britain. Although, the U.S. government even coerces the United Kingdom; the Americans even coerce the Europeans, but because they have some common grounds: they manage to interact and work together. It is always the case when the U.S. negotiates with another party. The Islamic Republic can negotiate with the U.S. only when it reaches a favorable level of power and sovereignty that would nullify U.S.'s pressures and domineering efforts: when their efforts have no effect on Iran due to our power. When Iran reaches the favorable level of power and sovereignty in cultural and economic aspects, then Iran can negotiate with the U.S. Today, this is not the case for Iran. If we negotiate, this will surely be detrimental for us; therefore, negotiating with the United States was banned by Imam [Khomeini]; for the same reason, I have also banned it. Imam [Khomeini] said, “We will not negotiate until the Americans act appropriately.” What does it mean? It means we hold to our position as long as the U.S. supports the Zionist Regime and the viscous forces in the region.

Now, if the government of the Islamic Republic was to negotiate with the American regime, at any time, it would never have negotiated with the present government of the United States. Everyone should know--our politicians, our diplomats, our motivated young people, our students in political sciences as well as political activists--they should all know that negotiating with a bullying regime such as the United States is not a means to eliminate hostility.

Negotiating is not a means to eliminate America’s hostility: it is a tool in its hands to apply hostility. You see, this is a definitive formula confirmed through our experiences and emphasized by various political considerations. Some say negotiating will reduce hostility; no, it does not reduce hostility, negotiating gives it [the enemy] the means to increase its hostile manner. So, we do not negotiate, and it is forbidden--everybody needs to understand this. 

Today, the United States has focused on waging an economic war against us. There is no military war, and there will not be one. But there is an economic war happening. Their focus is on the economic war now. Why? Because they have lost hope in a military war.

They even have no hope left when it comes to cultural war. Look. During the 90's, the second decade after our revolution, a wicked cultural plot started against our country. I talked about the cultural assault at that time; I talked about a cultural camisade, in order for the youth to be aware and keep their eyes open: for the people to be alert. A vast plot was put in place and started in the 90's against our country. Now, look: those born in the 90's are going to defend and die for the holy shrine [in Syria], their bodies returning. Who would have guessed this? At the same time with that vast cultural assault, flowers blossomed in the garden of the Islamic Republic, and these trees grew. The like of Martyr Hojaji were created. So, we were the victorious side in the culture war and our enemies were defeated.