Pressure, sanctions won't make Iran back down from its 'rights': Raisi

Pressure, sanctions won't make Iran back down from its 'rights': Raisi
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Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said that foreign pressure and sanctions will not stop his country from pursuing its 'legal rights'
Raisi took a hardline approach [Getty]

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Thursday that foreign pressure and sanctions will not stop the Islamic republic from pursuing its "legal rights", as he was sworn in during a televised ceremony after an electoral victory in June.

"The policy of pressure and sanctions will not cause the nation of Iran to back down from following up on its legal rights," the ultraconservative said.

Raisi, who is under US sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses when he was a judge, has promised to take steps to lift tough US sanctions that have cut Iran's oil exports and have shut it out of the international banking system.

Iran has been negotiating with six major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned three years ago by then US President Donald Trump, who said it was too soft on Tehran.

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Under the deal, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions, but Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. Tehran has since breached limits imposed on its nuclear activities under the agreement.

Like Iran's supreme leader, Raisi has endorsed the nuclear talks, but the mid-ranking Shia cleric is widely expected to adopt a tougher line in talks that have stalled.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last say on all state matters including nuclear policy.

Iranian and Western officials have said significant gaps remain to be resolved in the nuclear talks and have yet to announce when the talks will resume.

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