Israel condemned on Sunday the election of hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi as Iranian president, saying his would be a “regime of brutal hangmen” with which world powers should not negotiate a new nuclear deal.
Raisi, who is under US sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett, convening his first televised cabinet session since taking office last week, described Raisi’s ascent as enabled by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rather than by a free and popular vote.
“Raisi’s election is, I would say, the last chance for world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement, and understand who they are doing business with,” said Bennett in a statement.
“A regime of brutal hangmen must never be allowed to have weapons of mass-destruction,” he said. “Israel’s position will not change on this.”