In his first phone call to a Western leader, Iran's new president discussed with his French counterpart the stalled talks to revive Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, signalling his administration's willingness to return to the table.
Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line cleric who took office last week, told French President Emmanuel Macron that the US and European Union must implement their commitments under the landmark 2015 deal, the official IRNA news agency reported.
“In any negotiation, the rights of the Iranian nation should be secured and guaranteed," he said, criticising the US for abandoning the accord and reimposing sweeping sanctions under former President Donald Trump.
France, alongside the US, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, was part of the original 2015 nuclear agreement and has played a prominent role as an intermediary.
The parties to the agreement have convened in Vienna over the last several months to resuscitate the accord, which reined in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The talks ended in June with no date set for their resumption.
Macron, for his part, called on Iran to “quickly resume negotiations in Vienna in order to get to a conclusion and put an end without delay to all the nuclear activities it is carrying out in breach of the agreement," the French presidency statement said.
The comments come as Tehran is gradually abandoning its own commitments under the nuclear deal.
In the days before Raisi's inauguration, the region saw a series of escalations, including an explosive-laden drone attack on an Israeli-linked ship off the coast of Oman that killed two crew members. The West has blamed Iran for the assault, though Tehran has denied involvement.
Speaking to Macron, Raisi emphasised that Iran “is very serious about providing security and preserving deterrence in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman."
The country routinely “confronts offenders of security,” he added.