Iran's president has called on President-elect Joe Biden to "compensate for past mistakes" and return the US to Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a state-run news agency reported yesterday.
Hassan Rouhani's comments mark the highest-level response from Iran to Biden since his election win.
"Now, an opportunity has come up for the next US administration to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms," the state-run Irna news agency quoted him as saying.
Under President Donald Trump, tensions between the US and Iran have escalated, reaching fever pitch earlier this year with the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
One of Trump's signature foreign policy moves was unilaterally withdrawing the US from Iran's nuclear deal in 2018, which had seen Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
The US has since reimposed devastating sanctions on Iran that has crippled its economy, which was further battered by the coronavirus outbreak, and hurt the country's ability to respond to the pandemic.
In an effort to pressure Europe to find a way around the sanctions, Iran has slowly abandoned the limits of the nuclear deal. The US, while abandoning the deal itself, has condemned Iranian failures to adhere to the deal's conditions.
Iran appears to be celebrating Trump's defeat in the US election and is now calling on Biden to return the US to the nuclear deal enacted by the Obama administration, in concert with China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and Germany, in 2015.
"The people of Iran, though their heroic resistance against the imposed economic war, proved that the US maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail," Rouhani said. He added Iran "considers constructive engagement with the world as a strategy."
Also Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted that "the world is watching" to see if the new Biden administration would depart from Trump's approach toward Iran and seek international co-operation.
Meanwhile, Iran yesterday reached its highest ever single-day death toll from the coronavirus with 459 new deaths recorded. This brings Iran's total recorded deaths from the virus to 38,291 nationwide. Another 9,236 new confirmed cases of the virus were confirmed over the past 24 hours, bringing total confirmed cases to more than 682,000 nationwide since February.
Iran has struggled to contain the virus and has seen daily surges and highs over the past month. The capital, Tehran, has been the hardest hit and recently extended some lockdown measures across the city.