- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2020

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday rejected U.S. pressure to participate in nuclear negotiations.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have steadily built over the last several years following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018.

The Trump administration has since launched a so-called maximum pressure campaign aimed at squeezing its government and nuclear abilities and has placed economic and political sanctions on the country and its leadership.

“America’s brutal sanctions on Iran are aimed at collapsing our economy,” Mr. Khamenei said in a televised address. “Their aim is to limit our influence in the region and to halt our missile and nuclear capabilities.”

He told his listeners that “relying on national capabilities and cutting our dependence on oil exports will help us to resist America’s pressure.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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