Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he is not going to respond to U.S. President Donal Trump's message which was conveyed to him by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a meeting in Tehran on Thursday June 16.
Voicing his defiance and distrust at the same time, Khamenei said "I have no response and I will not have a response to Trump's message," adding that he does not believe in Americans' "honesty." Khamenei further added that Trump "did not deserve a reply."
According to Khamenei's website, Trump has said in his message that the United States is not planning a regime change in Iran. However, Khamenei said, "This is a lie that he is not planning a regime change in Iran. He would if he could."
Elsewhere in his speech, Khamenei ruled out new negotiations with the United States for another nuclear agreement, and stressed that "Iran will not negotiate under pressure."
"Who would negotiate with a country that has ignored all other agreements?" he asked, adding that "negotiation with America during recent years was a bitter experience we would not want to repeat."
Khamenei told Abe: "U.S. president met and talked with you a few days ago, including about Iran. But after returning from Japan, he immediately imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry. Is this a message of honesty? Does that show he is willing to hold genuine negotiations?"
Responding to Trump's comment about his opposition to Iran having nuclear weapons, Khamenei said: "We are against nuclear weapons and I have issued a religious decree (fatwa) banning nuclear weapons, but even if we wanted to have them, America was not able to do anything" to stop Iran.
He wrote in a tweet summing up his remarks at the meeting: "The U.S. doesn’t have, by any means, the competency to say which country should or shouldn’t possess nuclear weapons; because the U.S. has thousands of nuclear warheads in its arsenals."
Meanwhile, in a tweet mentioning Abe, Khamenei wrote: "You said Mr. @abeshinzo, that Trump has said negotiations with the U.S. would lead to Iran’s progress. By the Grace of God, without negotiations & despite sanctions, we will progress."
Tweeting parts of his comments at the meeting with Abe, Khamenei wrote: "We do not believe at all that the U.S. is seeking genuine negotiations with Iran; because genuine negotiations would never come from a person like Trump. Genuineness is very rare among U.S. officials."
In the meantime, while Shinzo Abe was meeting with Khamenei, two ships carrying "Japan-related cargo" were attacked in the Sea of Oman and Iran says its forces have rescued 44 crew members.
Kuwait has put its forces on alert following the attacks in a sign of concern about rising tensions in the region.
Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif reacted to the attacks in a tweet. He wrote: "Reported attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks. Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning. Iran's proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative."
Abe also held a meeting with Iran's President Hasan Rouhani on Wednesday. During the meeting Rouhani told him that "Tehran does not want war with America, but will react swiftly in case the United States attacks Iran."