Iran’s Raisi Calls Sanctions U.S.’s New War Weapon in UN Debut
(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said the U.S. is using sanctions as a new means of warfare in a debut before the United Nations General Assembly that was notably absent of any updates on the stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
In a prerecorded speech screened at the annual gathering of world leaders in New York City, Raisi, who’s subject to direct U.S. sanctions, said his country could never trust Washington after former President Donald Trump abandoned the multiparty accord in 2018.
The hard-line cleric who took office in August blamed the U.S.’s bruising sanctions regime for harming Iranians’ access to medicines during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The world does not care for ‘America First’ or ‘America’s Back,’” Raisi said, mocking favorite slogans of the previous and current American presidents. “We don’t trust the promises made by the U.S. government.” He invoked January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and the heavily criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war as signs of U.S. decline and failure.
Raisi said Iran wants broad economic and political ties with the rest of the world, especially its neighbors. He reiterated that nuclear talks would be useful for Iran only if they resulted in the removal of “all oppressive sanctions.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Iran’s foreign ministry said talks to restore the moribund landmark deal, which had curbed Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, would restart “within the next few weeks.”
U.S. officials have yet to comment on the timeline. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who’s attending the New York event, plans to hold bilateral meetings with China, Russian, France, the U.K., Germany and the EU -- all remaining parties to the nuclear deal -- on the sidelines.
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