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No practical change in US behavior toward Iran under Biden: President Raeisi

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets with his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Cassis, on September 20, 2022 in New York, the United States, on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly session.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says the Biden administration has taken no practical step that would indicate a policy shift toward Iran, despite claiming that it wants to reverse its predecessor’s pressure campaign and rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

Raeisi made the remarks in a meeting with his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Cassis, on Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly session.

“We have so far not observed a practical and serious step that would illustrate a shift in the US behavior and removal of cruel sanctions [against Iran],” despite the fact that the incumbent US administration claims it is opposed to ex-President Donald Trump’s policies.

Raeisi blamed Washington’s indecisiveness for the deadlock in the talks over revival of the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“It was America which withdrew from the JCPOA, not Iran. Even though Iran has stood committed to its obligations, the Western parties to the accord have failed to honor theirs,” the Iranian president pointed out.

Raeisi underscored that Tehran’s demands for guarantees from the US before the 2015 deal is restored are absolutely logical given Washington’s track record.

He said the Islamic Republic has kept progressing despite 40 years of pressure and sanctions, proving that the coercive measures are totally ineffective.

Raeisi also hailed the friendly relations between Iran and Switzerland, calling for expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, particularly in banking and financial sectors.

For his part, Cassis emphasized that Iran’s and the Middle East region’s security guarantees that of Europe.

He also welcomed further development of monetary and banking cooperation between Bern and Tehran.

“In 2016, a road map was drawn to improve trade relations between the two countries, which we still adhere to. We believe that political and geopolitical hurdles should be overcome in order for cooperation between the two countries to advance,” the Swiss president said.

The United States, under former president Donald Trump, abandoned the Iran deal in May 2018 and reinstated unilateral sanctions that the agreement had lifted.

The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April last year, months after Joe Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.

Despite notable progress, the US indecisiveness and procrastination caused multiple interruptions in the marathon talks.

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