Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi Reuters

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed on Sunday to tackle Iran's economic woes and said his government was working to lift the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

"The government is doing everything to achieve economic stability and a predictable market," he said in a television interview, according to the AFP news agency.

"Lifting sanctions is being pursued with vigor," he added, alluding to the negotiations over the 2015 nuclear deal that gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

"The people are well-aware of the situation in the country when I took the reins of government," Raisi stated.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran on a return to the nuclear deal resumed in Vienna last week, after a six-month hiatus following Raisi’s election in June.

Iran has repeatedly demanded that the US lift sanctions imposed on Iran and also reassure Iran it will not abandon the deal again as a precondition for its returning to compliance with the deal.

US officials have said that while they prefer the diplomatic route to reach an agreement with Iran, there are other options on the table should that fail.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday criticized Iran and said it is not serious about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

“What we’ve seen in the last couple of days is that Iran, right now, does not seem to be serious about doing what’s necessary to return to compliance, which is why we ended this round of talks in Vienna,” Blinken said during the Reuters Next conference, after the latest round of indirect talks adjourned.

He warned that the United States would not let Iran drag out the process while continuing to advance its nuclear program and stressed that Washington will pursue other options if diplomacy fails.

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