Rouhani blames ‘Zionists’ for US ‘violations’ of nuclear deal
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Rouhani blames ‘Zionists’ for US ‘violations’ of nuclear deal

Agreement with world powers ‘confirms’ peaceful nature of Islamic republic’s nuclear program, Iranian president tells UN General Assembly

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on September 22, 2016 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on September 22, 2016 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday accused Israel of afflicting the Palestinians with a “web of apartheid policies and atrocities” and accused “Zionist pressure groups” of manipulating the American government into violating the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The Iranian president also claimed the nuclear deal struck last year with the US and other world powers was proof of the peaceful nature of the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Most of Rouhani’s speech didn’t deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and instead focused on the instability in the Middle East, particularly the Islamic State group. He accused the US and other world powers of creating the “borderless violent extremism and terrorism” afflicting the Middle East. He assigned particular blame to the Saudi government and United States.

“Undoubtedly, if the region is to reverse the current dangerous trend into one towards development and stability, certain countries must stop bombing their neighbors, and abandon supporting takfiri terrorist groups; and, while accepting responsibility, try to compensate for past mistakes,” Rouhani said. “If the Saudi government is serious about its vision for development and regional security, it must cease and desist from divisive policies, spread of hate ideology, and trampling upon the rights of neighbors, accept its responsibility for the protection of the lives and dignity of pilgrims and construct its relations with the nations in the region on the basis of mutual respect and accountability.”

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran leaves after addressing the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY)
Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran leaves after addressing the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22, 2016. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

While he never mentioned Israel by name, Rouhani noted “the oppressed Palestinians [who] are still afflicted by a web of apartheid policies and atrocities set by the usurping Zionist regime.”

He also denounced the bloodshed in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Iran is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is accused of backing separatist rebels in Yemen’s civil war.

Concerning the nuclear deal reached last summer with world powers, the Iranian president said it “confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program” and “reinstat[ed] Iran’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program.”

Rouhani warned that “any failure on the part of the United States in implementing it would constitute an international wrongful act and would be objected to by the international community.

“Any failure in implementing the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will further erode the credibility of the United States in the world,” he charged, accusing the US of failing to comply with the deal in the past few months, and citing “the US Supreme Court ruling to seize billions of dollars of the Iranian people’s assets.”

In April of this year the US Supreme Court ruled that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets in the US were to be given to the families of American killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

“This experience demonstrated that the Zionist pressure groups could go as far as having US Congress pass indefensible legislations [sic] forcing the highest American judicial institution to violate peremptory norms of international law,” he said.

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