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Bennett warns against nuclear talks with Iran's 'hangmen regime'

Raisi, who is under U.S. 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 Prime Minister 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 he read out first in Hebrew and then in English.

"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."

Raisi has never publicly addressed allegations around his role in what Washington and rights groups have called the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

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