Iran’s new hard-line President-elect, Ebrahim Raisi, said Monday he would not negotiate over limiting Tehran’s ballistic missile program or its support for regional militia proxy forces.In addition, Raisi told reporters in Tehran that he would not meet with U.S. President Joe Biden as the United States attempts to rejoin the 2015 international pact to restrain Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.The prior Trump administration said the nuclear deal was not tough enough and withdrew the U.S. from the agreement three years ago, while also renewing crippling economic sanctions against Iran.At his first news conference following his victory in last week’s presidential election, Raisi called himself a “defender of human rights” when he was asked about his involvement in the 1988 mass execution of about 5,000 people.  U.S. sanctions linked to the killings remain in place against him from three decades ago, even as he is set to assume the Iranian presidency in about six weeks.An ultraconservative Shiite cleric, Raisi served on what became known as “death commissions” that ordered executions after sham trials of political prisoners, militants and others.”I am proud of being a defender of human rights and of people’s security and comfort as a prosecutor wherever I was,” he said. “All actions I carried out during my office were always in the direction of defending human rights,” he added. “Today in the presidential post, I feel obliged to defend human rights.”He took a defiant stance against Washington, saying, “The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran.”As the U.S. and five other international powers negotiate new terms of the nuclear pact with Tehran, Raisi said any discussions about its ballistic missile program and its support of regional militias were “nonnegotiable.” Tehran’s military aircraft dates largely to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which has forced Iran to buy missiles to defend itself against its regional Arab foes, which have over decades bought billions of dollars in American arms. Iran also supports militias like Yemen’s Houthis and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to act against enemies like Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively.Raisi is a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who the U.S. says will make any ultimate decisions on Tehran’s terms for the U.S. to rejoin the international nuclear agreement.White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News’s “This Week” show Sunday that it is a “paramount priority” for the United States to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.Sullivan downplayed Raisi’s election as a controlling force in the country because of Khamenei’s ultimate authority.With the U.S. out of the international pact, Iran has been exceeding the agreement’s mandates, enriching uranium at 60%, its highest levels ever, although that is still short of weapons-grade levels.After negotiators met Sunday in Vienna, representatives of the world powers returned to their capitals for consultations.Raisi called sanctions relief “central to our foreign policy” and demanded that the U.S. “return and implement your commitments” in the deal.

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