President Ebrahim Raeisi says he has no plans for either meeting or talking with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, during his upcoming trip to New York, where the Iranian chief executive is slated to address the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“I do not think that such a meeting is going to take place,” Raeisi told CBS News’ 60 Minutes program during an interview conducted Tuesday, which the channel is going to broadcast in full on Sunday.
Iran’s president made the comment when he as asked, “Are you open to a meeting with President Biden? A face-to-face?” adding, “I don’t believe having a meeting or a talk with him will be beneficial.”
The Iranian president was also asked whether he could see any differences between the Biden administration and the administration of his predecessor Donald Trump.
“The new administration in the US, they claim that they are different from the Trump administration,” Raeisi said, adding, “They have said it in their messages to us. But we haven’t witnessed any changes in reality.”
Under Trump, the United Sates left a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, reinstating the sanctions that the deal had lifted.
On his campaign trail, Biden alleged that he intended to return Washington to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He has, however, stopped short of taking any such measure, and has even imposed more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The Austrian capital of Vienna has been hosting many rounds of negotiations between Iran and the JCPOA’s remaining members since last year to examine the potential of the deal’s revival and fresh removal of the sanctions.
The talks have, however, failed to bring about either amid, what Tehran has denounced as, Washington’s continual foot-dragging and inflexibility.
Speaking to Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network on Thursday, Raeisi likewise said direct talks with the US over the nuclear agreement were “of no avail.”
The final decision for restoration of the JCPOA rested with the US, he said, adding, “The US has to take trust-building measures” towards the Iranian side.
Raesi also told the Doha-based network that any potential removal of the American sanctions had to be accompanied with relevant “guarantees” that Washington would not return the bans again.
The Iranian president censured a raft of new sanctions that Washington had imposed most recently on Iran, asking, “If Washington is after an agreement, why does it apply new sanctions during the course of the nuclear talks?”