Iran’s policy in talks with world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear accord will remain unchanged after a June 18 presidential election because the issue is decided by its highest leadership, a government spokesman said yesterday.
A host of barriers to the revival of the nuclear deal remain firmly in place ahead of talks due to resume this week, suggesting a return to compliance with the accord is still a way off, diplomats, Iranian officials and analysts said.
“We have shown that we adhere to our international obligations under all circumstances, and this was a national decision,” cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei told a weekly news conference.
Rabiei said Iran’s nuclear policy, set by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not linked to internal developments and that the new government would maintain the same policies as those followed in the Vienna talks which began in April.
“As long as all parties to the nuclear accord abide by their commitments, they can be sure that Iran will not abandon its obligations,” Rabiei said.
Former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, prompting Iran to steadily overstep the accord’s limits on its nuclear programme.
With a hardline-led election watchdog barring leading moderate and conservative candidates, the turnout is likely to be low in seven-man race between hardline and somewhat less hardline candidates, and two low-profile moderates.
The candidates took part in a televised debate yesterday and sparred on issues including ways of saving the nuclear deal and lifting US sanctions that have devastated Iran’s economy.
The leading moderate candidate, Abdolnaser Hemmati, accused others of seeking to heighten tensions with the West through a militant foreign policy, while conglomerates they control rake in large sums by circumventing sanctions.
Saeed Jalili, a hardline diplomat, rejected Hemmati’s warning about radicals seeking a confrontation with the West as “imaginary”.
He accused instead the government of outgoing pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani of wasting time by “constantly waiting on a few other countries, one time Trump was the excuse, another time the nuclear deal”.
Judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi, seen as the leading hardline candidate, said: “Any government that takes over should work towards ending the oppressive sanctions, but there should also be practical measures to neutralise the sanctions.” Iranian leaders say sanctions can be neutralised by circumventing them or by boosting local production.
People watch the debate of presidential candidates at a shop in Tehran, yesterday.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
‘Sabotage attack’ on Iran nuclear building foiled
World powers in new push for Libya peace
Oman offers up to 10-year residency to foreign investors: Trade ministry
Madame Tussauds to open museum in Dubai
Iran accuses US of meddling over criticism of election
Iran’s Raisi calls for effective N-talks, rules out Biden meet
Omani Ministry of Health records 2529 new cases of coronavirus, 31 deaths
Syria regime shelling on Idlib kills 9
Key road reopened ahead of peace talks: Libya PM