Raisi open to ‘useful’ talks on lifting sanctions

This was the second phone conversation between the two leaders within a month.

Tehran: Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said that his country is ready for “useful” talks aimed at lifting sanctions against the Islamic republic.

“We do not oppose useful negotiations, but the plan and result of negotiations must be the lifting of sanctions against Iran,” he said while speaking to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.

This was the second phone conversation between the two leaders within a month.

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Besides the nuclear issue, the independence of Iran and France in their policies is a “valuable reserve” that may be used to establish “balanced, strong and stable” ties between the two countries, Raisi told the French president.

Concerning the current situation in Afghanistan, the Iranian president said the US and NATO policy of military intervention has failed, and 20 years of occupation have had no benefit for the Afghan people.

“In the current situation, everyone must help form an inclusive government with the participation of all groups” in the country and let the Afghan people decide their own destiny, he added.

Regarding Lebanon, Raisi expressed Iran’s support for the formation of a strong government that can ensure and protect the rights of the Lebanese.

He said Iran would not withhold any humanitarian aid to Lebanon, and voiced Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with France for the progress.

For his part, Macron stressed the need to review the ties between France and Iran, and expressed his country’s interest in developing its relations with Tehran.

Macron mentioned the Afghan refugees in Iran as well as the problems caused by their presence, and emphasised the need for the assistance of the UN Refugee Agency.

Concerning the situation in Lebanon, Macron expressed France’s readiness to cooperate with Iran, along with Hezbollah to help create a strong and efficient government in the country.

Macron also voiced hope that the Vienna talks aiming to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement could resume with the presence of Iran.

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