US/World News

At UN, Iranian president condemns ‘Zionist occupier’

(JNS) Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, addressing the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly by video on Tuesday, called for an end to ongoing American sanctions, describing them as the United States’ “new way of war with the nations of the world.”

“Sanctions, especially sanctions on medicine at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, are crimes against humanity,” said Raisi, asserting that Iran is the “medical hub of the region” whose nuclear program is geared for peaceful purposes such as radiopharmaceuticals.

Referring to the U.S. unilaterally withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in 2018, Raisi said it had “totally failed.” Raisi called for the United States to end its sanctions policy and for “all parties” to return to the JCPOA. The Biden administration has said it wants to return to the deal, engaging in indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna. President Biden, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, said that while the United States is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, “we’re prepared to return to full compliance with [the deal] if Iran does the same.”

Iran has been “the centerpiece of a lot of back-room diplomacy” at the General Assembly meeting, reported The New York Times. The sixth round of negotiations in Vienna over a possible return to the JCPOA wrapped up in June, and no date has yet been set for a seventh round of talks. 

Raisi also sharply criticized Israel in his speech, saying “the occupier Zionist regime is the organizer of the biggest state terrorism, whose agenda is to slaughter women and children in Gaza and the West Bank.” He called for a referendum involving “all Palestinians of all religions and ethnicities including Muslims, Christians and Jews” to determine the fate of the Jewish state.

Main Photo: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 2021 U.N. General Assembly by video, Sept. 21, 2021. Source: YouTube.

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