Iran's top leader urges ban on negotiations with US

An Iranian woman walks past a new mural painted on the walls of the former US embassy in the capital Tehran

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei marks 40th anniversary of US Embassy takeover, rejects talks

Iran's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei ruled out on Sunday Tehran's talks with Washington, adding that the Middle Eastern nation wouldn't yield to the USA pressure, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

On Monday, the Iranian people, mostly students, took part in nationwide rallies to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and condemn the USA policies against the Islamic Republic.

Iran's supreme leader has again ruled out negotiations with Washington, a day before the 40th anniversary of the hostage crisis at the United States embassy in Tehran. People marched chanting anti-American slogans "Down with USA" and "Death to America" and carrying effigies mocking US President Donald Trump.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the long-exiled Shiite cleric whose return to Iran sparked the Islamic Revolution, gave his support to the takeover.

As of now, Iran is enriching uranium up to 4.5%, in violation of the accord's limit of 3.67%.

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The collapse of the nuclear deal coincided with a tense summer of mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Saudi oil facilities that the USA blamed on Iran.

M Macron, whose wider objective is to salvage the Iran nuclear deal despite Washington's withdrawal, had told reporters at the United Nations gathering that he believed conditions were finally in place for Mr Trump and Mr Rouhani to talk.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said Monday that the deal "is a matter of our security, not just the region or Europe but globally".

Earlier Monday, Iran broke further from the agreement by announcing it's doubling the number of advanced centrifuges it operates.

"A ban on negotiation with the one of the most important instruments for closing the path for their intervention in Iran", Khamenei said Sunday. "It means Iran will not yield to America's pressure", Khamenei, who is Iran's top authority, was quoted by state TV as saying. But so far, European nations have been unable to offer Iran a way to help it sell its oil overseas as it faces strict US sanctions.

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The embassy capture cemented the hostility between the two countries which has remained a central fact in Middle East geopolitics and an important part of Iran's national ideology.

"Our scientists are working on a prototype called the IR-9, that works 50 times faster than the IR-1s", Salehi said.

The deal once limited Iran to using only 5,060 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges to enrich uranium by rapidly spinning uranium hexafluoride gas. That's double the amount previously known.

In September, Iran had said that it activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 advanced centrifuges. "Here, there is a set titled S8 and there are some centrifuges which go under processing and mechanical stabilizing tests and then will be delivered to a pit which is the main place for the centrifuges, therefor, here is a place of testing, research and development", AEOI chief Ali Akbar Salehi explained.

The hostage-taking - brought to Americans' living rooms for 444 days in one of the first global crises televised in near real-time - still haunts relations between the two former allies which have never re-established diplomatic relations.

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Rallies were also reported in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan, among others, with the Mehr news agency estimating "millions of people" attended across the country, though it was not possible to verify that figure.

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