Iran’s newly elected president favors nuclear talks, refuses talk with Biden

Raisi’s remarks came during his first news conference after he had been elected as Iran’s new president on last Friday’s election.

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Ebrahim Raisi, the newly elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held his first press conference on Monday. During his speech, he made statements on ongoing nuclear talks, regional and international developments.

On nuclear talks, Raisi stated he supports ongoing negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. He said, “We support the negotiations that guarantee our national interests.” Besides, Raisi urged the Unites States to return to the deal immediately and “fulfill its obligations under the deal.”

Regarding the US sanctions on Iran, Raisi said that all sanctions should be lifted immediately. “The US is required to lift all of the sanctions against the Iranian nation,” he stated. Stressing that the Iranian nuclear program cannot be a matter of negotiation, Raisi categorically rejected any new subject that could be proposed in nuclear negotiations.

Upon the question asking any meeting is possible between him and US President Joe Biden in the future, he negatively answered, saying “No.”

Raisi’s response was also asked in Washington. Speaking to reporters, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We do not currently have any diplomatic relations with Iran or any plans to meet at the leader level.” On nuclear negotiations, Psaki noted that the decision-maker in Iran on this issue is the supreme leader.”

Another object of curiosity is what would the future of ongoing talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in the new term under Ebrahim Raisi. On this issue, the President-elect noted that relations with neighboring states would be his administration’s foreign policy priorities.

Raisi said that there is no obstacle to the reciprocal reopening of embassies between the two countries and improving relations with Saudi Arabia and other regional countries. Still, he did not abstain from urging Saudi Arabia to halt its intervention in Yemen.

President-elect Ebrahim Raisi will officially take office in August.

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