Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says there can be no revival of a nuclear deal with global superpowers unless the UN's nuclear watchdog drops its probe into the origins of nuclear material found at three undeclared Iranian sites.
In a news conference in Tehran to mark his first year in power on August 29, Raisi also said that he still sees no reason to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, even though the two will be at the UN General Assembly next month.
“Without the settlement of the safeguards issue, speaking about an agreement [on a revamped nuclear pact] has no meaning,” Raisi said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has referred to the traces of nuclear materials as a "safeguards" issue.
Raisi succeeded two-term president Hassan Rohani after winning an election in August 2021.
Upon his election, Raisi responded to a question on whether he would meet Biden, who succeeded Donald Trump, the U.S. president who unilaterally pulled his country out of the 2015 nuclear deal, by simply answering, "No."
Asked the same question on August 29, Raisi added a few more words to his answer, though the bottom line remained the same.
“There is no benefit for a meeting between us and him,” Raisi said. “Neither for the Iranian nation nor for the interests of our great nation.”
Since the United States withdrew from the pact in 2018 and started reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran, Tehran has progressively rolled back its own commitments to the deal.
The deal was designed to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.
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