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Iran’s Raisi calls for nuclear talks leading to halting of US sanctions

In his speech addressed to the UN General Assembly through a pre-recorded video, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for nuclear talks that would pave the way to the lifting of US sanctions.

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On Tuesday, Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the UN General Assembly’s 76th annual gathering through a video conference. In his speech, Raisi stated that his country wants to maintain nuclear negotiations with Western powers that would lead to the halting of US sanctions.

His remarks came as the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement reached an impasse. “The Islamic Republic considers the useful talks whose ultimate outcome is the lifting of all oppressive US sanctions,” Raisi said in his speech.

Underlining that the US’ “maximum pressure” policy is in force, Raisi stated that his country only wants what it rightfully deserves. He said, “We demand the implementation of international rules. All parties must stay true to the nuclear deal and the UN Resolution in practice.”

Being on the US sanction list due to his alleged human rights violations during his career as a judge, Raisi defined the US sanctions as “crimes against humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Since April, Iran has engaged in direct negotiations with P4+1 countries as well as indirect talks with the United States in Vienna to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, the negotiations stopped two days after Ebrahim Raisi won the presidential election in June.

On Tuesday, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported that the negotiations will restart in a few weeks. According to the report, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “Every meeting requires prior coordination and the preparation of an agenda. As previously emphasized, the Vienna talks will resume soon and over the next few weeks.”

Both Iranian and Western officials admitted that a considerable part of issues needed to be resolved before the nuclear agreement is reinstated.

Raisi also commented on nuclear weapons allegations. In this sense, he reiterated his country’s stance by saying “nuclear weapons have no place in our defense doctrine and deterrence policy.”

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