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Israeli PM says Raisi win a ‘wake up’ call over Iran nuclear deal

Naftali Bennett said Iran’s presidential election was a sign for world powers to ‘wake up’ before returning to a deal.

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has denounced the new Iranian president as a “hangman”, relating Ebrahim Raisi’s election win as a “wake up” call for world authorities prior to a return into a nuclear agreement with Tehran. Bennett made the statement on Sunday when he initiated his first cabinet meeting since taking his new coalition government the previous week.

Hardline judiciary chief Raisi was elected as Iran’s next president on Saturday with 62 percent of the vote amid the lowest voter turnout in the country’s history. He is sanctioned by the United States in part over his connection with the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, at the end of the Iran-Iraq War. Raisi has not made any precise statements on the event.

Bennett expressed at the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that “of all the people that Khamenei could have chosen, he chose the ‘hangman’ of Tehran, the man infamous among Iranians and across the world for leading the death committees that executed thousands of innocent Iranian citizens throughout the years.”

Bennett said Raisi’s election as Iranian president was “the last chance for the world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement and to understand who they are doing business with.”

“These people are murderers, mass murderers: a regime of brutal hangmen must never be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction that will enable it to not kill thousands, but millions,” he said.

Iran and world powers restarted devious negotiations in Vienna on Sunday to resuscitate Tehran’s ragged 2015 nuclear deal, which settled on the release of Iran sanctions in exchange for the limitation on its nuclear program.

Iranian and American diplomats have been negotiating a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Austrian capital through European intermediaries, since April.

The landmark nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, which Israel opposed, collapsed after former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the accord in 2018. That decision has seen Iran, over time, abandon every limitation on enrichment and Tehran is currently enriching uranium at its highest levels ever, though still short of weapons-grade levels.

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