Iran’s Raisi rules out meeting US President Biden Jun 22, 2021 0 55 12345 dpa TehranIranian president-elect Ebrahim Raisi has declined any meeting with US President Joe Biden so long as US sanctions remain in place, and also spoke out against a full renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal that prompted some of those sanctions.During his first press conference after his recent election win, Raisi said he could not imagine meeting Biden, saying the US president had ignored the 2015 nuclear deal by supporting “inhuman sanctions” against the Iranian population.“Biden has to lift the sanctions first to make the United States look credible again in Iran,” Raisi said.The 60-year-old won Friday’s presidential elections with 60 per cent of the vote. He was the top candidate of the hardliners camp.Raisi also spoke out against the complete renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal.“The Americans have not honoured an agreement they signed. Now they are asking us to renegotiate it as well,” Raisi said, calling this impossible.Raisi said Iran was pursuing a peaceful and civilian nuclear programme and had never violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, making it unacceptable that the Americans and Europeans were not abiding by the agreement, he said.The deal, designed to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb, was left in tatters when former US president Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018.Talks to revive the accord - which could see sanctions lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme - have been under way in Vienna for months.Raisi also said that Iran would not change its Middle East policy.Israel must respect the rights of the Palestinians and agree to a referendum on the future of the occupied territories, he said.In Yemen, Tehran wants to see an immediate end to the civil war, he said, and opposes political or military interference by foreign powers.Raisi said he was prepared to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.He repudiated accusations that he had been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians as prosecutor general. “I have always defended human rights in my career,” he said.Raisi is on the sanctions list of the US due to human rights violations.After most competitive candidates were weeded out by the electoral body, Raisi stood practically unopposed for election.Participation was at a record low at below 50 per cent, which observers saw as a move to boycott the election in protest.Raisi, an arch-conservative cleric who is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is accused of human rights abuses, is set to be inaugurated in August. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES India starts free COVID vaccination for all above 18 but glitches remain Jun 22, 2021 0 358 Yoga a ‘source of inner strength’ during pandemic: Modi Jun 22, 2021 0 355 Hong Kong’s Apple Daily facing closure after arrest of executives Jun 22, 2021 0 351 Philippines U-turns on face shields dpa Manila Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday backtracked on scrapping the mandatory use of face shields outdoors, amid concern over the spread of more contagious variants of the coronavirus. Hours .. Lapid to be first Israeli foreign min to visit UAE dpa Tel Aviv Israel’s new Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is to become the first to visit the United Arab Emirates, with a trip planned for next week. The head of the Yesh Atid party is to travel to the Gulf state for a two-day visit .. HK’s strict visa rules to hit relations: Taiwan dpa Taipei Taiwan’s government on Monday condemned Hong Kong for imposing strict visa rules on Taiwanese officials, a move it says will worsen diplomatic relations. The criticism came a day after the withdrawal of seven .. Turkish Constitutional Court agrees to rule on ban of pro-Kurdish HDP dpa Istanbul Judges at Turkey’s Constitutional Court unanimously accepted on Monday a case regarding the possible ban of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), state news agency Anadolu ..