WORLD leaders have extended their congratulations to Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on his victory in Iran’s 2021 presidential election.
Raeisi garnered almost 62 per cent of the votes in last Friday’s election with a turnout of 48.8 per cent. He will succeed President Hassan Rouhani who has served two four-year terms in office.
Hezbollah, Palestine, Qatar, Oman and Turkey all sent messages of congratulations
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, said: ‘I congratulate you on this great victory and your election as the president at this critical juncture in Iran’s history.’
‘Your election win revived the hopes of the Iranian nation and other regional nations for the future and their power to counter challenges,’ he added. ‘Resistance fighters and freedom-seeking people consider you a fortified stronghold against aggressors.’
Additionally, Palestine’s embassy in Tehran announced that President Mahmoud Abbas had sent a message to Raeisi, congratulating him and the Iranian people on the election victory.
Abbas also stressed ‘the strong will of the Palestinian Authority to reinforce cooperation with the Islamic Republic in line with the interests of the two brotherly nations.’
In another congratulatory note, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wished Raeisi ‘success as well as further development and growth of the relations between the two countries,’ state news agency QNA reported.
Similarly, Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said ‘expressed his sincere greetings’ to Iran’s president-elect and wished the Iranians ‘further progress and prosperity.
‘His Majesty the Sultan also reaffirmed further enhancement of existing strong relations between the two countries and cooperation in the various spheres for the interest of the peoples of both the countries,’ according to the Times of Oman newspaper.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also congratulated Raeisi and hoped the poll results will lead to a more prosperous Iran.
According to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate, Erdogan hoped that Ankara-Tehran ties will further strengthen under the new Iranian president.
The Turkish president further said he will be pleased to visit Iran for the forthcoming meeting of the Turkey-Iran High Level Cooperation Council once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, also offered his congratulations.
‘Afghanistan and Iran are two brotherly neighbours with the same religion, culture and language that have good and historical relations,’ he said in his message.
‘With the victory of Mr Ebrahim Raeisi, we expect that ties between the two governments and nations will be further developed in the fields of culture and economy as well as the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.’
And Latin American states also conveyed congratulatory messages
In a post on his Twitter account, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: ‘I extend my congratulations to the Iranian people and to Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the newly elected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
‘We will continue united, working for peace and the strengthening of our cooperation and brotherhood.’
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also released a statement in support of the Iranian government and nation.
- Iran’s top negotiator in the Vienna talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), says all documents are now almost ready for a final deal and it is time for other parties to the accord to make up their minds.
‘We are now closer to an agreement than at any time before, but bridging the gap between us and an agreement is not an easy task and needs decisions, which must be mostly made by the other parties,’ Abbas Araghchi said ahead of last Sunday’s talks between Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Araghchi, who is the deputy foreign minister for political affairs, added, ‘Today is the last day of the sixth round of the (Vienna) talks. We have gone through very busy days and very difficult work, and we are now in a situation that we think all the documents for an agreement are almost ready.’
The Iranian negotiator, however, noted that some of the issues of dispute between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries (Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) are settled but others are still unresolved.
The Iranian diplomat expressed hope that the sides would be able to narrow the remaining short distance in the next round of talks despite all difficulties and ‘reach a final conclusion.’ However, he warned that that nothing can be predicted.
‘For a few days, that I cannot say exactly how many days there will be, we will stop the talks and return to the capitals not only for further consultations, but also for making decisions,’ Araghchi pointed out.
Araghchi’s remarks came after Russia’s permanent representative to the international organisations in Vienna said a consensus on the revival of the JCPOA was ‘within reach’.
‘The Joint Commission of JCPOA will meet on Sunday, June 20. It will decide on the way ahead at the Vienna Talks. An agreement on restoration of the nuclear deal is within reach but is not finalised yet,’ Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted on Saturday.
Russia also said that a consensus on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal is ‘within reach’ as the parties to the agreement prepared to meet in the framework of the Joint Commission.
Representatives of Iran and the other five remaining signatories to the nuclear agreement have been engaged in the Vienna process since early April with the purpose of finding ways to bring the United States back to the deal and prepare the ground for its full implementation.
A US delegation is also in the Austrian capital, but it is not attending the discussions directly because the United States is not a party to the nuclear accord any more.
It has though held separate talks with the participant delegations, except Iran.
Trump abandoned the deal and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign.
Iran’s top negotiator in the Vienna talks on the JCPOA revival said the Iranian delegation is seeking a good deal that will address Tehran’s key concerns.
Following a year of ‘strategic patience’, Iran resorted to its legal rights as stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories, and suspend some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy programme.
Now, the new US administration under Joe Biden says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.
Tehran insists that all sanctions must first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last Saturday that Tehran and the remaining P4+1 group of countries are likely to agree on ways to revive the JCPOA before the end of President Hassan Rouhani’s term in office in mid-August.
‘Negotiations on the JCPOA (revival) are underway (in Vienna). There is a good chance that an agreement will be made before the end of our administration.
‘We will leave office in mid-August (and hand over the government) and I think that it is highly likely that we will be able to reach an agreement long before this date.’