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Iran’s hardline president-elect Ebrahim Raisi says he will not meet with Biden

Iran’s new President-elect Ebrahim Raisi stated on Monday that he does not plan to meet with US President Joe Biden. Raisi also called on the United States to return to the nuclear deal in his first international news conference since his victory. Raisi maintained that he would not meet with Biden, even if both sides agreed on terms to revive the nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to halt uranium enrichment in return for lifting crippling US sanctions. Raisi was announced the winner of a historically uncompetitive election in Iran that had low voter turnout. Raisi has been a staunch Western critic for the duration of his career.

Raisi will become the country’s eighth president when he takes office from Hassan Rouhani in August. Iran is currently negotiating with the US in Vienna, indirectly, on how to salvage the agreement to take the pressure of sanctions off of Iran’s back. Raisi accused the US and European Union of violating the deal at Monday’s news conference in Tehran, calling on the US to lift all sanctions. Raisi also stated that the country’s ballistic missile program was not up for negotiation, meaning that the country is not willing to make sacrifices on this front.

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