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Harper urges global powers not to negotiate with incoming Iranian regime

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Former prime minister Stephen Harper is urging the international community not to give Iran’s incoming president a seat at the global negotiating table.

Harper spoke at a virtual sitting of the Free Iran World Summit on Saturday, telling attendees that hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi’s rise to power is further evidence of the “folly of trying to appease” the Iranian regime.

Harper cast shame on any government that would attempt to negotiate with Raisi’s incoming administration, which is set to formally take power next month.

He describes the election that saw Raisi named president-elect as a sham and says it exposes the fiction that a moderate faction exists within the Iranian government.

He says efforts to salvage the since-tarnished 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran have only emboldened extremist forces.

Raisi offered a blunt preview of how Iran might engage with the wider world last month when he rejected the possibility of meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, quashing hopes of expanding on the nuclear deal if negotiators are able to salvage the old one.

— with files from the Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2021.

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