Iran's President-Elect Snubs Biden, Rejects In-Person Meeting Suggestion
Iran’s president-elect made it clear Monday that he will leave President Joe Biden waiting with his hat in his hands when it comes to making a deal on Iran’s weaponry.
Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi was elected president last week in a contest jiggered by Iran’s government to ensure the hard-liner would take power instead of more moderate voices within the country.
On Monday, Raisi said Iran has the resolve to outlast the United States and rejected any meeting with Biden.
“No,” was his terse answer when asked about a summit with America’s leader, according to Politico.
Raisi said the Biden administration needs to do as it is told.
“The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran,” Raisi said at a news conference.
“My serious proposal to the United States government is for them to return [to the nuclear agreement] in an expedited manner … in doing so they will prove their sincerity,” Raisi said. “The people of Iran do not have good memories of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” Raisi said, according to CNN.
The agreement negotiated between the United States and Iran, along with several European nations, is commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement was the brainchild of former President Barack Obama. Biden, as Obama’s vice president, worked to seal the deal.
Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal. Biden campaigned on restoring cozier relations with Iran and securing as new version of the agreement.
But Raisi on Monday seemed more interested in rattling off demands than negotiating.
“The Americans trampled on the JCPOA and the Europeans failed to live up to their commitment. I reiterate to the US that you were committed to lifting the sanctions — come back and live up to your commitments,” he said.
Raisi said Trump’s effort to squeeze Iran, dubbed “maximum pressure,” failed.
“Up until today, maximum pressure was not successful on our people, [the U.S.] must change their minds, and come back to reason. Our people have shown they can withstand the pressure,” Raisi said.
When asked about Iran’s ballistic missile expansion and its support of regional militias that spread terror across the Middle East, Raisi called those issues “non-negotiable,” Politico reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called for nations trying to deal with Iran “to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement,” according to BBC News.
Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, indicated that Raisi’s election could prompt new scurrying on the part of the Biden administration to reach a deal with the current regime.
“For the United States, Raisi’s election, viewed through the prism of ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, heightens the Biden administration’s sense of urgency to conclude a deal before an inevitably more rigid Iranian administration is inaugurated on August 8,” Sadjadpour wrote for The Atlantic.
“Although power in Iran will remain in the hands of the Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guards, Raisi’s presidency will further complicate the Biden administration’s stated goal of negotiating a ‘longer and stronger’ follow-on deal with Tehran.”
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial arguing pursuing an agreement with Iran is a mistake.
“The folly of the Obama and now Biden administrations is believing that the leaders in Tehran want Iran to be a normal country. They don’t,” the Journal editorial board said.
“They run a government that wants to spread its religious revolution to the rest of the world by whatever means possible. Mr. Raisi’s ascension shouts that reality from the minaret, not that the Biden Administration wants to hear it.”
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