Iran leader rules out US talks as tensions rise over Saudi attacks Sep 18, 2019 0 1153 12345 AFPTehranIran’s supreme leader on Tuesday ruled out negotiations with the US “at any level”, as tensions mounted between the arch-foes after Washington blamed Tehran for weekend attacks on Saudi oil installations.Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks, which halved oil output in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter. But on Tuesday, a US official upped the pressure on Tehran, sayinf the strike was launched from Iranian soil and that cruise missiles were involved.The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the US was gathering evidence to present to the international community at the UN General Assembly next week.US Vice President Mike Pence said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would travel Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to “discuss our response”.Earlier in the day, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the US had adopted a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran because it believes it cannot bring the Islamic republic to its knees through other means.“The policy of ‘maximum pressure’ against the Iranian nation is worthless and all Islamic Republic of Iran officials unanimously believe there will be no negotiations with the US at any level,” he said in a televised address. US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper also labelled Iran a destabilising force in the region, but stopped short of directly accusing Tehran over the strikes. The US military, he said, was working with its partners to “address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran”. The Iranian president has said that even if that happens, any talks must be held in the framework of the nuclear accord. Khamenei reiterated this on Tuesday, saying that if the US “repents” and returns to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, then it can talk to Iran along with other parties to the deal.“If the US takes back its words and repents after pulling out of the JCPOA... then it can join the other countries party to the JCPOA and talk to Iran along with the other countries,” he said, using the agreement’s formal title. “Without this, no negotiations will happen at any level between the Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials and the Americans, not during the visit to New York or any other visit.” RELATED ARTICLES Dutch Palestinian seeks damages from Israel’s Gantz Sep 18, 2019 0 307 HK leader to hold dialogue aimed at easing tensions Sep 18, 2019 0 1142 Saudi will defend its land, can respond to attack on vital facilities: King Salman Sep 18, 2019 0 278 Trump hints at Iran’s role in Saudi oil attacks but says doesn’t want war WASHINGTON/DUBAI: US President Donald Trump said on Monday said it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia but stressed he did not want to go to war, as the attacks sent oil prices soaring and raised .. Air strikes kill 10 pro-Iran fighters in Syria: Monitor Beirut: Overnight air strikes killed 10 pro-Iranian Iraqi militiamen in eastern Syria, a war monitor said Tuesday, without specifying who carried them out. The strikes targeted “three positions of the (Iranian) .. Jordan says 153,000 Syrians returned home since October AFP Amman Around 153,000 Syrians have returned to their country from Jordan since the reopening of a key border post last October, the interior ministry said Tuesday. Of the 153,000 who returned via the Jaber post, around .. Merkel wants to keep Saudi Arabia weapons export ban in place dpa Berlin German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that she currently sees no basis for lifting an export ban on weapons to Saudi Arabia. “At the moment, I see no precondition for the German government’s position .. Russia detains two N Korean vessels after one opens fire Reuters MOSCOW Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service .. Grace Mugabe will keep her fortune, says Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa dpa Harare Grace Mugabe, the widow of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe, will keep the fortune accrued by her family during her husband’s 37 years in power, authorities said on Tuesday. “President Emmerson ..