Raisi Wants to Talk to The West But With Conditions

Published October 19th, 2021 - 07:34 GMT
Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi (AFP File Photo)

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi in televised remarks Monday evening called for "result-oriented negotiations" with the West while urging the US to lift "unjust sanctions."  

Speaking to the state broadcaster, Raisi said Iran "never left the negotiating table," asserting that lifting sanctions can be a "sign of seriousness" from other parties.

His remarks come three days ahead of Iranian deputy foreign minister and new nuclear negotiator Ali Baqeri's scheduled visit to Brussels to hold talks with top European Union officials on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last week, EU deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora held talks with Baqeri in Tehran, which Iran's Foreign Ministry termed "good and constructive.”

Earlier on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the meeting in Brussels is the continuation of talks held in Tehran last Thursday, which he said could be a "step forward" in resuming stalled talks in Vienna.

Raisi's conservative administration has adopted a tough line on indirect talks with the US, making it conditional to the Biden administration returning to the deal and lifting sanctions on Iran.

On the other hand, Washington has maintained that Iran must return to the negotiating table and scale back all nuclear measures in violation of the nuclear deal.

In other remarks during the live interview, Raisi, a harsh critic of US foreign policy, blamed Americans for recent bombings in neighboring Afghanistan.

He said ISIS-K, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, was the "creation of the US," warning that the future of region would be at risk if the group is not eliminated.

On Sunday, Raisi claimed that the militant group sought to "complete a failed mission" of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Iran will be hosting a meeting on Afghanistan next week to be attended by top representatives from regional countries.

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