Prospects for the revitalisation of the nuclear deal have been getting dimmer as Iran’s new hardliner leadership wants the full implementation of the original agreement from 2015.
US wants to see what Iran is willing to do and remains "fully prepared" to return to Vienna to continue negotiations, says top US diplomat Antony Blinken in Kuwait.
Iran has accused Israel of several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear programme and killing its nuclear scientists over the past years. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.
The Pentagon’s reduction of US troops and military hardware in the Middle East shows a reorientation of the Biden administration’s priorities in the region.
Interior Minister Aboldreza Rahmani Fazli says Raisi has been elected president with 61.95 percent of the vote as voter turnout was 48.8 percent, a record low for a presidential election in the country.
Results of the election are expected around noon Saturday. If no clear winner emerges, a runoff will be held on June 25, defying predictions.
State-linked opinion poll and analysts put cleric and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as the dominant front-runner in an election many are likely to ignore amid economic hardship and calls for a boycott by liberals at home and abroad.
The restricted field may further dim the clerical establishment’s hopes of a high turnout amid growing public frustration over economic hardship and political restrictions.
Experts argue that a regimented Iran led by a hardliner president might be more confident in dealing with the West.
Many moderate and reformist candidates were disqualified by the country’s Guardian Council, a vetting body dominated by clerics. But public opinion is shifting in favour of a moderate candidate.
The Islamic Republic’s cleric-dominated top Guardian Council disqualifies all moderate and reformist candidates ahead of the June presidential election, paving the way for a conservative victory.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says he asked supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to intervene and warned "the heart of elections is competition. If you take that away it becomes a corpse."
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