Iran’s president say that the US “trampled upon” Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers in a speech to world leaders at the United Nations.
Ebrahim Raisi addresses the UN General Assembly as talks to revive the nuclear deal approached a take-it-or-leave-it moment. Former US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal in 2018 has led Tehran to abandon over time every limitation the accord imposed on its nuclear enrichment.
European Union officials have warned the window for securing a deal is about to close. The 2015 agreement that was brokered under the Obama administration placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which Tehran insists it has never received.
“America trampled upon the nuclear accord,” says Raisi, who was sworn in as president only a year ago. His speech marks the first time he has taken the podium at the UN in his role as president. Last year, he delivered remarks to the assembly virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 2019, Raisi was sanctioned by the United States in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, a little over a decade after the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the country’s shah and ushered in its current theocratic-led system.
Wearing a traditional black turban identified with Shiite clerics, Raisi also tells the gathered leaders that Iran wants to have “extensive relations with all our neighbors” — an apparent reference to foe Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in the region.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have held a number of direct talks since US President Joe Biden took office, though tensions remain high between the two. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates recent reopened its embassy in Tehran and sent an ambassador there.