Raisi said he would not meet with Biden, even if both sides agreed on terms to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to stop uranium enrichment in return for the lifting of crippling US sanctions.
Responding to a question from CNN at Monday’s news conference in Tehran, the President-elect accused the US and European Union of violating the deal, and called on Biden to lift all sanctions before adding that the country’s ballistic missile program was “not up for negotiation.”
“My serious proposal to the United States government is for them to return [to the 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 JCPOA,” Raisi added, referring to the formal name of the nuclear deal.
“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 in his opening statement.
The new Iranian leader said that the maximum pressure sanctions campaign on the country, first instituted by the Trump administration, “was not successful.”
“Up until today, maximum pressure was not successful on our people, they [the US] must change their minds, and come back to reason. Our people have shown they can withstand the pressure,” he said.
Raisi welcomed diplomacy and dialogue, but said that Iran’s foreign policy would not be limited to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Raisi also said he hoped his tenure would see a restoration of ties with Iran’s regional foe, Saudi Arabia. The President-elect added that he would place “no barriers” on efforts to reopen embassies in both countries.
In May, Iran’s foreign ministry confirmed that direct talks had begun between top Saudi and Iranian officials, after a five-year diplomatic freeze and decades of strained relations.
Riyadh and Tehran severed ties in 2016 after Saudi Arabia executed a top Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. Hours later, Iranian mobs stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and set it ablaze.