Iran’s Raisi says Israeli ‘normalisation’ deals will fail

Published September 24, 2023
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a press conference concluding his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, in New York City, US, September 20, 2023. — Reuters
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a press conference concluding his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, in New York City, US, September 20, 2023. — Reuters

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said in a US television interview on Sunday that US-sponsored efforts to normalise Israeli relations with Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, “will see no success”.

In an interview with CNN, Raisi also said Iran had not said it does not want nuclear inspectors from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog in the country.

Raisi has said Iran has no issue with the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspection of its nuclear sites, days after Tehran barred multiple inspectors assigned to the country.

Israel has moved closer to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco following a US-driven diplomatic initiative in 2020 which pushed for normalisation of relations.

Establishing ties with Saudi Arabia — home to some of Islam’s holiest sites — would be the grand prize for Israel and change the geopolitics of the Middle East.

Commenting on Iran’s nuclear programme, Raisi said: “We have announced time and time again that the use of nuclear weapons, the use of weapons of mass destruction in general, do not have a place. Why? Because we don’t believe in it, nor do we have a need for it.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran hasn’t said we do not wish any inspectors to be here.”

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