Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gestures during a meeting with religious poets in Tehran, Iran, March 8, 2018. Leader.ir/Handout via Reuters
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Iran will not negotiate with the West over its presence in the Middle East, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday, a few days after France's visiting foreign minister sought to raise Tehran's role in regional conflicts. Jean-Yves Le Drian flew to Tehran Monday with a brief to reaffirm European support for a 2015 nuclear deal that opened up Iran's economy while echoing U.S. concern about Tehran's missile program and its influence in the region.Khamenei described the presence of U.S. military forces in various regions of the world as "malicious and seditious" and said Iran would not ask for permission from Washington to be active in the Middle East.President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran's military might posed no threat to any country in the region.
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