Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi gave his first press conference since the country’s election, saying Monday his priorities would be to improve ties with regional neighbors and revive the 2015 nuclear deal — and at the same time squarely ruling out meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, APA reports citing CNBC.
“We support the negotiations that guarantee our national interests. … America should immediately return to the deal and fulfill its obligations under the deal,” Raisi, the hardline cleric who is himself under U.S. sanctions, said according to a Reuters translation.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.
The JCPOA, brokered by the Obama administration, lifted sanctions on Iran that had crippled its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran agreed to dismantle some of its nuclear program and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections.
Alongside the United States, France, Germany, the U.K., Russia and China were also signatories of the agreement.