Iran, US clash at UN over nuclear deal, human rights


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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 21 (Reuters) – The United States and Iran clashed over security and human rights on Wednesday, with Iran’s president demanding U.S. guarantees to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the American president swearing that Tehran would never get the atomic bomb.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi struck a defiant tone at the United Nations General Assembly as he denounced human rights ‘double standards’ after the death of an Iranian woman in police custody sparked protests across Iran.

Raisi also said Tehran wants former US President Donald Trump to stand trial for the 2020 killing of Iran’s Quds Force commander-in-chief Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Iraq, holding up a picture of the general.

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“There is a great and serious will to solve all the problems to revive the (nuclear 2015) agreement,” Raisi told the United Nations General Assembly. “We only want one thing: respect for commitments.”

Speaking later, US President Joe Biden reiterated his desire to revive the nuclear pact under which Iran had agreed to curtail its atomic program in return for economic sanctions relief.

In 2018, Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal and unilaterally reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

A year later, Tehran has responded by gradually violating the deal’s nuclear limits and reigniting American, Israeli and Gulf Arab fears that Iran may be seeking an atomic weapon, an ambition Iran denies.

“We have before us the experience of America’s withdrawal from (the deal),” Raisi said. “With this experience and perspective, can we ignore the important issue of safeguards for a lasting deal?”

Raisi did not mention Iran’s demand that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigations into traces of uranium found at three undeclared Iranian sites be closed, a major impediment to recovery of the agreement.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

US and European officials have said the investigations can only be closed if Iran provides satisfactory answers to the UN’s nuclear watchdog whose head, Rafael Grossi, said these issues cannot be dismissed. Read more


Raisi also sought to deflect criticism over the death last week of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested by vice squad in Tehran for “inappropriate dress”. Amini’s death has sparked anger on the streets since Friday over issues including freedoms in the Islamic Republic and a sanctions-reeling economy. Read more

At least seven people have been killed in protests, some calling for “regime change”.

“The Islamic Republic considers the double standard of some governments in the field of human rights as the most important factor in the institutionalization of human rights violations,” Raisi said in a published text of his speech. through his office.

He said this had led to “various and numerous positions on an incident under investigation in … Iran”, an apparent reference to the case of Amini, and “dead silence” on the allegations of human rights abuses in the West.

“Human rights belong to everyone, but unfortunately they are flouted by many governments,” he added, referring to the discovery of unmarked graves of natives in Canada, the suffering of Palestinians and the images of migrant children held in cages in the United States. states.

Biden expressed his willingness to return to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and made clear US sympathy for protesters in Iran.

“While the United States is ready for a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran meets its obligations, the United States is clear: we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon” , he said, repeating a long – held position in the United States.

“We stand with the brave citizens and brave women of Iran who are protesting right now to secure their basic rights,” Biden added.

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Reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Steve Holland; written by Parisa Hafezi and Arshad Mohammed; edited by Andrew Cawthorne, Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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