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No plan to meet Biden at UN General Assembly: Iran President Raisi

No plan to meet Biden at UN General Assembly: Iran President Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks prior to leave Tehran's Mehrabad airport to New York to attend annual UN General Assembly meeting on Monday, Sep 19, 2022. (Photo: AP/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN: Iran’s president headed on Monday (Sep 19) to New York, where he will be speaking to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly later this week, saying that he has no plans to meet with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN event.

President Ebrahim Raisi spoke at the Tehran airport before his departure as talks to revive Iran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers remain stalled.

“There is no plan for a meeting or negotiations with US leaders," Raisi said. “We have no plans whatsoever for meeting them.”

The Iranian president called his appearance at the United Nations an opportunity to explain to the world about alleged “malice” that unspecified nations and world powers have toward Iran. He did not elaborate.

Raisi, who is accompanied by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, is to address both the General Assembly and a UNESCO meeting on religions

Talks between Iran and world powers over reviving a 2015 nuclear deal remained stalled though Tehran and Washington have traded written responses in recent months on the finer points of the roadmap, which would see sanctions lifted against Iran in exchange for it restricting its rapidly advancing nuclear program.

Iran and the US have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 US Embassy takeover by militant students in Tehran.

On Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes aired an interview with Raisi, who said the United States is not trustworthy and demanded guarantees that Washington would not withdraw again from a nuclear deal as President Donald Trump did in 2018.

Raisi also told CBS that Iran is willing to discuss prisoner exchanges with the US, defended his country’s anti-Israel stance and said Tehran was committed to pursuing “justice” for the killing of a top Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander, General Qassem Soleimani, in a US airstrike in Baghdad in January 2020.

Source: AP/hw

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