President Trump and Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini. CreativeCommons, Shutterstock.
Iran rejects Trump’s empty offer of talks:
“I ban holding any talks with America… America never remains loyal to its promises in talks,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on policy in the Islamic Republic.
“America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted,” state TV quoted Khamenei as telling a gathering attended by thousands of Iranians.
There was never any reason to think that Iran would be interested in negotiating with the U.S. after Trump reneged on the nuclear deal, and Khamenei’s statements confirm that there won’t be any talks as long as Trump is in office. Violating our government’s obligations under this agreement has a cost for the U.S., and part of that cost is that the possibility of negotiating with Iran about anything is dead for the foreseeable future. It isn’t possible to trash one of the most significant diplomatic agreements of the last several decades and then get the other parties that you just betrayed to come back to the table.
Of course, Trump and the Iran hawks around him have never wanted real negotiations with Iran. That would require compromise, and they loathe that. Following the decision to refuse to take yes for an answer from Iran, the Trump administration has gone out of its way to make an “offer” that Iran could not possibly accept without also agreeing to surrender. No self-respecting government would agree to that, and so Iran has refused to capitulate to Trump’s bullying.
Trump has been a serial deal-breaker all his life, so it is no surprise that he has continued doing this as president. Violating agreements and reneging on commitments appear to be the only things he is qualified to do. The danger for the U.S. is that many other governments in addition to Iran’s will be wary of making agreements with our government, at least as long as Trump is the president. That will cause the U.S. to miss numerous opportunities to secure and advance our interests, and it will give other states currently negotiating with the U.S. good reason not to believe the promises this administration is making to them.