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President Rouhani lashed out at US Supreme Court ruling on terror victims' compensation

Blamed spread of global terror on post 9/11 security strategies

CNN —  

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States Thursday of “a lack of compliance” with the nuclear deal agreed between Tehran and world powers last July.

Speaking to global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Rouhani then attacked the US for what he described as “illegal actions,” referring to the US Supreme Court decision in April to allow US victims of terror to claim nearly $2 billion in compensation from Iran’s central bank.

The decision allows impounded Iranian assets to be distributed to more than 1,000 US survivors of terror attacks for which the US deems Iranian groups responsible.

Rouhani blamed the ruling on the influence of “Zionist pressure groups” in Washington.

Success of ‘moderation’

But the Iranian President, who faces an election in May and has been sharply criticized by hardliners for making concessions the US to accomplish the nuclear pact, did offer some positive words about the agreement.

The ability of Iran and world powers to negotiate the deal indicates “the success we can achieve through moderation, constructive interaction, dialogue – the policy that brought an end to a long, complicated and unnecessary crisis by adopting a win-win approach,” he told the gathered international luminaries.

He added that “it was a political deal that also represents a creative method … to resolving international challenges.”

But Rouhani still lit into the US at one point for its “lack of compliance” with the terms, saying that “represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith.”

And he warned Washington that any failure to implement it “will further erode the credibility of the US in the world.”

US rejects accusations

The US rejected the accusation that it is failing to keep up its end of the bargain.

“The United States has and will continue to implement its commitments under the deal with good faith and without exception,” said a US State Department official, who added America has “unequivocally met” its terms and has “made absolutely clear that we are committed to full and effective implementation of our sanctions-related commitments.”

After Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities, years of tough economic sanctions were lifted under the deal, allowing Tehran’s oil to be sold internationally.

Iran has been frustrated that it has not seen more of an economic benefit stemming from the deal, with many countries still wary of doing business with the country.

Spread of terror

Rouhani’s critique didn’t stop there, blaming global powers’ post 9/11 security strategies for “the genesis of borderless violence and terrorism” in the world.

Speaking in New York 15 years after the mass terror attack, he said that “no one imagined that this occurrence would lead to larger disasters resulting in a devastating war in the Middle East and the spread of insecurity across the globe.”

Inside 9/11: The day that never ends

He pointed to the plight of the Syrian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Afghan and Palestinian people, while calling on neighbors to “stop bombing each other and accept responsibility for past mistakes”.

Saudi Arabia

Iran’s President also pointed his finger at regional rival Saudi Arabia, warning that the country must “cease and desist from divisive policies” if peace is to be found in the Middle East.

“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,” Rouhani told world leaders.

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Shi’ite-led Iran and the Saudi Arabian Sunni monarchy are on opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, with Iran sending forces and advisers to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while its rival supports Syrian rebel groups.

They are also divided over Yemen. The Saudis have accused Iran of backing the Houthi rebels, who seized power from the government in March. At least 30 Yemeni civilians were killed Wednesday in Saudi-led airstrikes in the port region of Hodieda.