Iranian elections
Iranian elections iStock

Iran on Tuesday condemned US "interference" in its domestic affairs, after the State Department said last week's presidential election in the Islamic Republic was neither free nor fair, AFP reported.

Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric who is close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, scored 62 percent of the vote in Friday's election, with more than half the voters staying away after many political heavyweights had been barred from the race.

The US State Department said on Saturday that it regretted that Iranians were unable to take part in a "free and fair electoral process".

"We consider this statement as an example of interference in Iran's internal affairs," government spokesman Ali Rabiei was quoted as having said.

"We condemn it. The US government is not in a position to comment on the electoral process in Iran or any other country," he added.

On Monday, Raisi ruled out meeting with President Joe Biden, responding to queries regarding such a meeting with a one-word response: “No”.

Later, White House press secretary Jen Psaki clarified that Biden currently has no plans to meet Raisi.

"We don't currently have any diplomatic relations with Iran or any plans to meet at the leader level," Psaki told reporters, according to Reuters. "Our view is that the decision maker here is the Supreme Leader."

Raisi’s election came amid indirect talks between the US and Iran on resumption of compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions reimposed on the country following the US withdrawal from the deal, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

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