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No plan to meet Biden, US officials at UN General Assembly, Raeisi reiterates

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says he has no plans to meet with his American counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Raeisi made the remarks on Monday morning before departing Tehran for New York, where he will deliver a speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly later this week.

“There is no plan for talks or meetings with American rulers during the trip,” Raeisi said, dismissing speculations, for the second time since last week, about a meeting with Biden.

The trip, however, will include separate meetings with leaders of some countries, according to the president.

Referring his scheduled speech, he said he would openly defend the rights of the Iranian people and highlight US-led acts of oppression against them.

He expressed hope that the trip would be fruitful for “our country and system and the Muslim and oppressed nations of the world.”

Raieis initially said during an interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes program on Tuesday that he has no plans for either meeting or talking with Biden, adding, “I don’t believe having a meeting or a talk with him will be beneficial.”

 

That came as Tehran is still waiting for a constructive response from Washington over the Islamic Republic’s latest opinion on the European Union’s draft proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the administration of former president Donald Trump, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the landmark deal in 2018 and reinstated crippling sanctions under the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign, despite Iran’s full compliance with the deal.

The Austrian capital, Vienna, has been hosting multiple rounds of talks since April last year between the signatories of the JCPOA in order to examine the prospect of the deal’s revival and removal of Washington’s illegal economic sanctions.

On his presidential campaign trail in 2020, Biden had pledged to return Washington to the deal. He has, however, stopped short of taking any tangible measure to deliver on that promise while slapping even more sanctions on Iran.

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