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Presidential candidate Jalili says Iran should not be put on hold over negotiations with few countries

Saeed Jalili, a candidate in the June 28 presidential election, speaks in a meeting with students of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran on June 22, 2024. (Photo by IRNA)

Saeed Jalili, a candidate in Iran's upcoming June 28 presidential election, has stated that Iran should not be put on hold over negotiations with a small number of countries.

Jalili made the remarks he made a campaign stop at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran on Saturday, referring to the negotiations to revive the 2015 US-abandoned nuclear agreement -- officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator, said when all were cheering the conclusion of the JCPOA, he was a serious critic of the nuclear deal.

What is written in the JCPOA is different from what is spoken in praise of the deal, he added.

Iran proved the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the world by signing the JCPOA with six world powers. However, Washington’s exit in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

Negotiations kicked off in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of removing anti-Iran sanctions and examining the United States’ seriousness in rejoining the accord.

The talks, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s insistence on not removing all the sanctions and its failure to offer necessary guarantees that it will not abandon the deal again.

Jalili called on the five other presidential candidates to only make promises that they will be able to fulfill in accordance with their duties.

"I myself was a nuclear negotiator, but I was talking to defend the rights of the nation not to destroy them," the candidate said.

He emphasized that weaknesses cannot be resolved by simply expressing them but it is necessary to also pay heed to the points of strength and opportunities.

"Today, there is a world of opportunities in front of us. We should not turn back," Jalili said.

Some said in the past that sanctions are a serious issue and that Iran will not be allowed to sell more than 300,000 barrels of oil per day, he added, explaining, "We presented various solutions before the era of martyr Raeisi's administration but they did not welcome them."

Jalili emphasized that his election campaign motto of "a world of opportunities" is not merely a slogan, saying all national capacities have been identified.

He described the June 28 presidential election as a unique civilizational and historical opportunity for the country.

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