New Iranian president sets out conditions for nuclear negotiations

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Ebrahim Raisi speaks after casting his ballot at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, June 18, 2021. Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential race by securing over 60 percent of votes, the Iranian Interior Ministry announced on Saturday. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)
Ebrahim Raisi speaks after casting his ballot at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, June 18, 2021. Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential race by securing over 60 percent of votes, the Iranian Interior Ministry announced on Saturday. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)

Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi said he was willing to continue negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, on the condition that they lead to the lifting of US sanctions.

“We will welcome and support any diplomatic initiative that should lead to the lifting of sanctions,” Raisi tweeted on Friday.

The deal was designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons but the accord has been in tatters since former US president Donald Trump pulled the country out in 2018.

Tehran then gradually violated the limitations set out in the agreement, recently increasing its degree of uranium enrichment closer to a level needed to produce weapons-grade fuel.

Weeks of talks earlier this year failed to achieve a breakthrough.

Raisi, who was sworn in on Thursday, has said that Iran was interested in resolving the nuclear dispute and would follow rational diplomacy, but would pursue national interests and ignore any foreign pressure.

Efforts to revive the nuclear deal have focused on persuading the US to return and lift the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

Negotiators are also calling on Iran to comply with the conditions set out in the accord.

Talks were suspended after the presidential election in mid-June and the change of government in Iran.

The negotiations are set to continue with Raisi’s new nuclear team.

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