image Photo: Reuters

Raisi: no confidence in Vienna Talks

“We put our hopes on the east, west, north, south of our country and never have any hope in Vienna and New York,” declared Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a televised speech to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

By Erin Viner

The hardline leader made his proclamation amid ongoing talks with world powers in Vienna aimed at salvaging the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Acton (JCPOA).

Raisi, whose election last June led to a 5-month suspension of negotiations, insisted the Islamic Republic would rely on its domestic economic potential rather than expect support from overseas or in nuclear talks with world powers.

Iran and the United States resumed indirect talks in the Austrian capital last Tuesday following a 10-day break. The following day the administration of US President Joe Biden publicly pressured Tehran to agree to re-commit to the pact swiftly, warning that failure to do so within weeks would render revival of the JCPOA impossible.

Raisi’s address was frequently interrupted by chants of “Death to America” – a trademark slogan of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed Shah – from the audience, which also shouted “Death to Israel” and “Death to England.”

Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of Iranians marched in the streets to mark the annual event. For the second year in a row, the anniversary instead featured cars and motorcycles moving through the streets of dozens of cities and towns.

Just one day after Iran resumed talks in Vienna, it defiantly rolled out its new domestically-produced “Kheibar Shekan” missile with a 1,450 kilometer range.

Iran will continue advancing its ballistic missile program,” declared the country’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri during a a ceremony at an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) base where the new missile was displayed, reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency.