The White House said on Monday (local time) that U.S. President Joe Biden has no plans to meet with Iran’s President-elect regarding talks to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. It was a tit-for-tat response to Iranian president-elect Ebrahim Raisi’s remarks that he is not willing to meet with President Biden and a reminder that the U.S. president’s Iranian counterpart is not its president but its supreme leader.
“The president’s view and our view is that the decision-maker here is the supreme leader,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a press briefing. “That was the case before the election, is the case today, will be the case probably moving forward.” She made it clear that nothing is going to change after the election of new president in Iran since President Biden’s Iranian counterpart is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader. Spokesperson Psaki went on to say that the two countries currently do not have diplomatic ties and there are no plans to meet at the leader level, adding it is unclear that anything has actually changed on that front. Earlier on Sunday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during an interview that the election of new president in Iran will not affect talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iran’s new hardline President-elect Raisi ruled out a meeting with U.S. President Biden and called on the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran in his first press conference since his win in the presidential election. Iran unilaterally announced a break in the nuclear talks one day after the election of new president Raisi. The White House spokesperson said negotiators completed a sixth round of talks and a seventh round has yet to be scheduled. She added that negotiators are returning to their countries for consultations in their capitals and the White House would be looking forward to seeing where the talks go.