Sunday June 20th 2021
EU wants nuclear deal
Israel and USA criticize Iran election
The judge Ebrahim Raisi is elected as the new President of Iran by a large majority. The hardliner is now receiving international criticism for his role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners – the EU, on the other hand, wants to hold further talks on the nuclear deal.
Israel has sharply criticized the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as President of Iran. “Iran’s new president, known as the Butcher of Tehran, is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians,” Israel’s new foreign minister, Jair Lapid, said on Twitter. “He is committed to the regime’s nuclear aspirations and its campaign of global terror.”
The judge and conservative clergyman Raisi was elected by an overwhelming majority to succeed President Hassan Ruhani on Saturday and will replace him at the beginning of August. As one of four Sharia judges, Raisi oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. Israel’s Foreign Minister Jair Lapid is the architect of the new government coalition of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, whom Lapid has agreed to replace as head of government in 2023.
The US has criticized the course of the presidential election in Iran. A spokesman for the foreign ministry said the people of Iran had “been denied a free and fair electoral process”. At the same time, however, he announced that the US would continue negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program alongside its allies and partners. It was Washington’s first reaction to Raisi’s election victory in Iran.
Talk about nuclear deal
The European Union is also pressing for further talks on the international nuclear agreement (JCPOA). “The EU is ready to work with the new government of Iran,” said a spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell in Brussels. “Until then, it is important that intensive diplomatic efforts continue to get the JCPOA back on track.”
A revival of the international nuclear agreement with Iran is currently being negotiated in Vienna. The aim of the agreement is to prevent the Islamic Republic from gaining the ability to build an atomic bomb. The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and put new massive sanctions in place against Iran. In response, Tehran gradually withdrew from its obligations under the agreement.
Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has in principle declared himself ready to start new direct negotiations with Iran, but insists that the country must first abide by its obligations under the nuclear agreement. Iran, in turn, makes the lifting of US punitive measures a precondition.