Iranian president rules out meeting with Biden in New York

Iran’s chief executive is due to address the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“I don’t think such a meeting is going to happen,” Raisi told CBS News’ 60 Minutes during an interview on Tuesday, which the channel will air in full on Sunday.

The Iranian president made the comment when he asked, “Are you open to meeting President Biden? A face-to-face?” adding, “I don’t think having a meeting or a conversation with him will be beneficial.”

The Iranian president was also asked if he could see any differences between the Biden administration and the administration of his predecessor Donald Trump.

“The new administration in the United States, they claim they are different from the Trump administration,” Raisi said, adding, “They told us that in their messages. But we haven’t witnessed any change in reality”.

Under Trump, the United States scrapped a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, reinstating the sanctions the deal lifted.

During his campaign, Biden alleged that he intended to bring Washington back to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, he refrained from taking such a step and even imposed more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The Austrian capital of Vienna has hosted numerous rounds of talks between Iran and the remaining members of the JCPOA since last year to discuss the potential for reviving the deal and lifting sanctions again.

However, the talks yielded neither amid what Tehran has denounced as Washington’s continued slowness and inflexibility.

Speaking to Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera on Thursday, Raisi also said direct talks with the United States over the nuclear deal were “without result”.

The final decision to reinstate the JCPOA rested with the United States, he said, adding, “The United States must take confidence-building measures” toward the Iranian side.

Raisi also told the Doha-based network that any potential lifting of US sanctions must be accompanied by relevant “guarantees” that Washington would not backtrack on the bans again.

The Iranian president censured a series of new sanctions that Washington had recently imposed on Iran, asking: “If Washington is looking for an agreement, why is it applying new sanctions during the nuclear talks?”

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