Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s president-elect, said on Monday it is “central to our foreign policy” that the United States lift its sanctions on the country.
Raisi, 60, is currently Iran’s ultraconservative judiciary chief. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, is one of his mentors, and a panel led by Khamenei disqualified several reformist presidential candidates and those aligned with President Hassan Rouhani, who is considered to be more moderate.
Because of this, millions of voters stayed home, The Associated Press reports, and Iran had its lowest voter turnout ever. Raisi won the election with almost 62 percent of the vote.
During his first press conference since the election, Raisi called himself a “defender of human rights,” and said he will back the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but refuses to limit Iran’s missile capabilities or support for area militias. “It’s nonnegotiable,” he said. Iran’s missiles can travel 1,240 miles, and the country backs Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.