Iran's highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Thursday slapped down an offer of direct talks made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden , saying talks would not solve the problem between them.
The statement by the Ayatollah is a discouraging sign for Western countries like the United States and Israel which are seeking a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue. Western nations have sought to resolve this challenge for nearly 30 years to no avail. Talks between a group known as the P5+1 (U.S., China, Russia, France, England plus Germany) and Iran are scheduled to resume later this month.
Relations between Iran and the United States were severed in 1979 after the overthrow of Iran's pro-western monarchy. Diplomatic meetings between officials have since been very rare.