Iran's supreme leader bans negotiations with the United States

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Iran's Supreme Leader Says Negotiations With The U.S. Are Banned

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States, putting the brakes on moderates hoping to end Iran's isolation after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers in July.

Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, already said last month there would be no more talks with the United States after the nuclear deal, but has not previously declared an outright ban.

His statements directly contradict those of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who says his government is ready to hold talks with the United States on how to resolve the conflict in Syria, where the two countries back opposing sides.

"Negotiations with the United States open gates to their economic, cultural, political and security influence. Even during the nuclear negotiations they tried to harm our national interests.," Khamenei was quoted as saying on his website.

"Our negotiators were vigilant but the Americans took advantage of a few chances," he said.

Inside the nuclear talks:

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John Kerry and Iran nuclear talks
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Iran's supreme leader bans negotiations with the United States
US Secretary of State John Kerry organizes his papers during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill July 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew appeared before the committee to defend the Obama administrations proposed deal with Iran over the county's nuclear program. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) sits next to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as they attend a plenary session at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an 'historic surrender'. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CARLOS BARRIA (Photo credit should read CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in his office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2015, after world powers reached a historic nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu said after the deal was reached that Israel was not bound by it and signalled he remained ready to order military action . AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L to R) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an 'historic surrender'. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) ,French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (3rd L), China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (5th L), Federica Mogherini (C), High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, US Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd R), British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2nd R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. Foreign ministers from major powers began crunch talks in Vienna on Monday seeking to seal a historic nuclear deal to end a 13-year standoff, one day before a final deadline, officials said. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (3rd L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. Foreign ministers from major powers began crunch talks in Vienna on Monday seeking to seal a historic nuclear deal to end a 13-year standoff, one day before a final deadline, officials said. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CARLOS BARRIA (Photo credit should read CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry walks delivers a statement on Cuba outside the hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2015. Talks between Iran and major powers towards a historic nuclear deal are facing tough issues but are making progress, US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a break from talks in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTIAN BRUNA (Photo credit should read CHRISTIAN BRUNA/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2015 after a deal was reached on Iran's nuclear program. Iran and world powers agreed on the framework of a potentially historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear drive after marathon talks in Switzerland. AFP PHOTO/ NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 14: Sen. Bob Corker, Senate Foreign Relations chairman, arrives for a briefing on Iran nuclear negotiations with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama's chief of staff Jack Lew in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listens on as US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference on March 7, 2015 at the Foreign Affairs Minister in Paris. Kerry had flown into Paris just a couple of hours earlier in a bid to shore up European support for the proposed deal with Iran ahead of a March 31 deadline. AFP PHOTO /ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
EU political director Helga Schmid (CL) seats next to Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi (R) at the opening of nuclear talks between Iran and Members of the P5+1 group on March 5, 2015 in Montreux. The so-called P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany is trying to strike an accord that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd L) talks to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) (L) as Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) looks on during a photo-op prior to a meeting at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. At the risk of further straining the relationship between Israel and the Obama Administration, Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress warning congressional members against what he considers an ill-advised nuclear deal with Iran. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) is greeted by French Foreign Minister Fabius Laurent, on March 7, 2015, at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris. Flying in from London on the last stop of a week-long trip, Kerry will meet with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Britain to brief them on the status of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. AFP PHOTO/ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 28: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrives at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland where he came for the nuclear talks with Iran on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 28: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrives at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland where he came for the nuclear talks with Iran on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) face French Director-General for Political and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nicolas de Riviere (2nd R), and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) at the opening of a bilateral meetinh at Iran nuclear talks on March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
The director-general for political and security affairs at the French Foreign Ministry, Nicolas de Riviere (2nd R), and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) wait look on March 28, 2015 before a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Fabius met while in Switzerland for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (C) takes a walk before meetings at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. Iranian officials are in Switzerland to continue negotiations on their nuclear program with other world powers. AFP PHOTO / POOL / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Although he supported the last 18 months of negotiations, Khamenei has not publicly endorsed the nuclear agreement with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Chinaand Russia that settled a standoff of more than a decade.

The West feared Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons, suspicions Tehran denies.

The agreement, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for crippling sanctions being lifted, was welcomed by Iranians who are keen to see their living standards improve and better relations with the rest of the world.

It was also a great political victory for Rouhani and his faction in Iran ahead of some key elections next year and as such has deepened the divide in Iran's complex power structure between moderates and hardliners.

"CRITICAL SITUATION"

In his address to Revolutionary Guards Navy commanders, Khamenei said talks with the United States brought only disadvantages to Iran.

"Through negotiations Americans seek to influence Iran ... but there are naive people in Iran who don't understand this," Khamenei was quoted as saying to the IRGC commanders, who are also running much of Iran's military involvement in Syria.

Hundreds of Iranian troops arrived in Syria last month, sources told Reuters, where they will join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes.

The West dispute the aims of Russia's air campaign, which is causing friction between Moscow and NATO.

"We are in a critical situation now as the enemies are trying to change the mentality of our officials and our people on the revolution and our national interests," Khamenei told the Guards.

Khamenei often invokes an unspecified "enemy" when talking about Western powers, particularly the United States and Israel, which he suspects of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

His comments might invigorate the hardline lawmakers seeking the impeachment of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over shaking hands with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

"On and off the record, it was an accident," Zarif said in an interview with New Yorker on Tuesday.

"It has already cost me at home. But everything I do costs me at home, so this is not an aberration."

Iranians react to the nuclear deal:

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Iranians react to the nuclear deal
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Iran's supreme leader bans negotiations with the United States
Iranians gather in celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian women flash the v sign for victory during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign as an other holds the Iranian national flag during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign qnd holds the portrait of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
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