Iran's Raisi: Won't allow nuclear negotiations for negotiation's sake
Updated 22:24, 21-Jun-2021

Iran's president-elect Ebrahim Raisi said Monday his administration will not allow negotiations for the sake of negotiations in talks with world powers aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Any negotiations that guarantee national interests will certainly be supported, but... we will not allow negotiations to be for negotiation's sake," he said in his first press conference.

Raisi, 60, won Iran's presidential election after securing over 60 percent of votes, the Iranian Interior Ministry announced on Saturday. He will replace President Hassan Rouhani in August.

The U.S. government, under former President Donald Trump, withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran gradually stopped implementing parts of its commitments related to the agreement from May 2019.

Trump's successor Joe Biden has signaled his readiness to return to the deal, and state parties –also including China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany – have lately been negotiating its revival in Vienna.

The JCPOA Joint Commission began to meet offline on April 6 in Vienna to continue previous discussions about a possible return of the United States to the deal and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.

But Raisi dismissed the possibility of a meeting with Biden with a flat "No" when asked by an American media outlet at the press conference.

"The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran," he said.

(With input from AFP, Xinhua)

(Cover: Iran's president-elect Ebrahim Raisi poses for a photo during his first press conference since the election win in Tehran, Iran, June 21, 2021. /Getty)

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