Iran’s newly elected president uses first call with a Western leader to insist Tehran’s interests are protected in nuclear talks

During his first reported call with a Western leader since taking office, President Ebrahim Raisi called on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to ensure Iran’s “interests” are protected during nuclear deal negotiations.

According to a statement from the Iranian president’s office, during his call with Macron, Raisi said the US and the European parties to the talks must fulfil their obligations under the deal, while emphasizing that the rights of Iranians and “interests of our nation must be ensured.”

Meanwhile, Macron urged Tehran to quickly return to the negotiating table and “put an end, without delay, to all nuclear activities that violate the [JCPOA] agreement,” the French president’s office said.

The one-hour conversation with Macron marked the first reported phone call between Raisi and a Western leader since he took office last week. While his predecessor Hassan Rouhani was a moderate who negotiated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Raisi is a hardline conservative. He has pledged to uphold “the rights of the Iranian people” during his presidency.

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The Iran nuclear deal largely collapsed after then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the agreement in 2018 and announced the reimposition of sanctions on Tehran. In response, Iran has increasingly breached its compliance with the terms of the deal, stepping up its nuclear activity.

So far, six rounds of negotiations have taken place between Iran and the signatories of the original deal, in an attempt to revive it. However, talks stopped on June 20 to allow for the handover of the Iranian presidency, and no date has been set for future meetings.

Raisi’s comments to Macron follow allegations by Israel and Western allies, including the US, that Tehran was behind an attack on an Israeli-operated tanker in which two crew were killed. Israel has threatened that it is ready to strike Iran if provoked, while Tehran has denied any responsibility for the incident and warned of a “strong response” if any action against it is taken.

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Source:RT World News

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