Iran is “Clear Danger to Middle East”, Foreign Ministry Says After Raisi Crisis

Tehran finances terrorism, poses a global threat and must never be allowed to procure nuclear weapons, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday in response to the speech by new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA ).

“Raisi continues to deceive the international community with a speech filled with lies and cynicism,” Foreign Ministry said after Raisi spoke on video at the opening session of the UNGA annual meeting .

“The Iranian Ayatollah regime poses a clear and immediate threat to the Middle East and to world peace,” he added.

Seats reserved for the Israeli delegation are empty as US President Joe Biden speaks about Israel and the Palestinians at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States, September 21, 2021 ( Credit: REUTERS / EDUARDO MUNOZ / POOL)

Israel has long been concerned about the Iranian regime, but it has been particularly concerned about Raisi’s hard line since taking office in June, given his involvement in political executions in 1988.

“The new Iranian government, headed by the ‘Tehran butcher’ Raisi, and composed largely of ministers suspected of [committing acts of] terrorism and [whose names are] on global sanctions lists, is the extremist face of a regime that has harmed Iranian citizens for more than 40 years. Iran encourages and finances terrorism, which destabilizes the entire Middle East, ”the foreign ministry said.

“The international community must condemn the Iranian regime and prevent any possibility of nuclear capabilities and weapons falling into the hands of these extremists.

The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel and never refers to it by name. At the UNGA, Raisi declared that “the Zionist occupation regime is the organizer of the greatest state terrorism whose agenda is to slaughter women and children in Gaza and the West Bank”.

His speech, however, focused on portraying Iran as a moderate positive force in the region and portraying the United States as a country at war with the world.

“Today the world doesn’t care about America first,” Raisi said. “Over the past decade, the United States has made the mistake of changing its ‘war of war’ with the world, instead of changing its ‘way of life’.

His attempt to westernize the Middle East failed, Raisi said. “Today the United States cannot go out [from] Afghanistan, but [rather] is expelled, ”he said.

He notably challenged the crippling sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on his country in an attempt to pressure it into negotiating a new nuclear deal.

Raisi said such sanctions were “a crime against humanity”.

The United States is using sanctions as a “new means of warfare with the nations of the world,” Raisi said, adding that his country would not give in to pressure when it comes to an agreement on its nuclear program.

In 2018, the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA signed between Tehran and the major world powers: China, Russia, France, Germany and Great Britain.

Since taking office in January, US President Joe Biden has sought to revive the deal, but the EU-brokered indirect talks held last June have failed. Iran said on Tuesday it would agree to resume talks in a few weeks, but did not set a date.

In recent years, Iran has stopped adhering to the restrictions set in the uranium enrichment agreement and has done so at a level close to military grade.

In his speech, Biden linked the sanctions relief to Iran’s return to the 2015 deal, noting that he would lift the sanctions if Iran met the nuclear limits set by the deal.

Raisi, in his speech a few hours later, however, denied that his country was not in compliance. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has consistently reported that Iran has exceeded uranium enrichment limits set by the agreement.

In his speech, however, Raisi said the IAEA found his country in compliance with the agreement.

“Fifteen reports published by the IAEA have attested to Iran’s compliance with its commitments. However, the United States has yet to meet its obligation to lift the sanctions. They encouraged the agreement, withdrew from it and imposed more sanctions against my people, “he said.

Raisi added that his country does not trust the United States and its promises.

He also swore that his country had no intention of producing nuclear weapons.

“It is the strategic policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to regard the production and stockpiling of atomic weapons as prohibited on the basis of the religious doctrine of His Eminence, the Supreme Leader, and nuclear weapons have no their place in our policy of deference. The Islamic Republic considers the talks useful, the ultimate result of which is the lifting of all sanctions, “Raisi said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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