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Iran's Rouhani uses UN address to denounce US over nuclear deal

Tehran accuses Washington of continuing to block Iran from global banking system, limiting its ability to benefit from end of sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking at UN General Assembly on Thursday (AFP)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani used an address at the United Nations on Thursday to accuse the United States of failing to fully implement the nuclear deal and demand that Washington comply immediately.

"The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith," said Rouhani, referring to the nuclear accord.

The agreement between Tehran, Washington and five other major powers came into force in January. Iran accepted curbs to its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions by world powers.

But Tehran accuses Washington of continuing to block the Islamic Republic from the international banking system, limiting its ability to benefit from the end of sanctions.

He complained that American restrictions on banking and dollar transactions with Iran, which were unaffected by the nuclear agreement, have discouraged many banks from engaging with the country because they worry about possible penalties from the US, the New York Times said.

“They’re frightened, the big banks,” Rouhani told reporters, accusing the Americans of “creating a lot of doubt”.

Any US failure in implementing the agreement would "constitute an international wrongful act" and "be objected to by the international community," Rouhani told the UN General Assembly.

It would also "further erode the credibility of the United States in the world," the Iranian leader said.

Nonetheless, Rouhani’s criticism appeared relatively muted and he seemed to carefully avoid any indication that the agreement was at risk, the New York Times said.

He spoke a day after American export licenses were granted so that Iran could buy dozens of new planes from Boeing and Airbus, the biggest commercial transactions between Iran and the West in decades, the Times said, and a direct outcome of the nuclear agreement.

The agreement has faced opposition from conservatives in Iran and the United States, led by Republican opponents of the Barack Obama administration ahead of this November's presidential election.

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