New president Raisi: US sanctions must be lifted

Tehran, Aug 5 (EFE).- Iran’s new president, the hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, said that United States sanctions against his country “have to be lifted” as he was sworn in on Thursday.

Raisi has taken power amid rising tensions in the region following a series of security incidents involving a number of ships in the Gulf of Oman. Iran has been blamed but has denied any involvement.

“We support any diplomatic plan that achieves this goal (of removing sanctions),” Raisi said in his speech during his inauguration ceremony, in which he insisted that Iran’s nuclear program is “peaceful.”

The latest round of negotiations in Vienna to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran have been on hold since June 20 due to the transfer of power in Gulf nation.

The negotiations hope to find a way for the US to return to the agreement which it abandoned in 2018 when it re-imposed economic sanctions on Tehran, and for Iran to return to compliance with all its commitments to limit its nuclear program.

Raisi also discussed Iran’s military capability and its regional influence, which the US and Europe want to limit.

“Our power in the region creates security,” the president said, insisting that these capabilities “bring peace and security in other countries.”

He advocated resolving the Middle East crises through “real regional dialogue” and without foreign interference which he said “does not solve any problem”.

“I extend my hand to regional countries,” Raisi said in his speech, in which he reiterated that strengthening ties with neighboring states would be “a priority” for his administration.

The inauguration ceremony was held two days after Raisi was ratified in office by the country’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and after winning last June’s presidential election with almost 62% of the vote. EFE

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