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Iran Friday Imams Characterize Negotiation With US As 'Insanity'

File photo - Hardliner Friday Prayer Imam Ahmad Khatami.
File photo - Hardliner Friday Prayer Imam Ahmad Khatami.

In a concerted effort, Friday Prayer Imams across Iran in their sermons on Friday condemned any attempt to hold talks with the United States, saying that "Negotiating with America is insane."

According to Mehr News agency, several Friday Prayer Imams including those in the cities of Tehran, Qazvin, Natanz and Kashan have used more or less the same words to describe negotiations with the United States.

In Tehran, the firebrand Friday Imam Ahmad Khatami characterized possible negotiations with the United States as "insanity" and accused U.S. officials of nurturing terrorists.

He quoted the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as "having said once" that Trump was out "of his mind", while often it is Rouhani who becomes target of verbal abuse by hardliner Imams.

Meanwhile, he insisted that regional militia aligned with Iran, such as the Iraqi Hashd al-Shabi, Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemeni Ansarollah are not terrorists because "they are defending their countries."

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's official website also re-ran an old speech in which he had prohibited negotiations with the United States.

Khamenei himself has been silent after President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said he would be willing to negotiate “with anyone” if it serves the interests of the people and the cause of Iran’s economic development.