Rouhani: Zionists pressuring US to violate Iran nuclear deal

Speaking at UN General Assembly debate, Iranian president attacks Israel over "web of apartheid politics and atrocities."

September 22, 2016 17:47
1 minute read.
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 22, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the 71st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday, and did not miss an opportunity to disparage Israel on the global stage.

Rouhani blamed "Zionist pressure groups" for continued sanctions and the seizure of Iranian assets, threatening that if the Washington does not follow through with its commitments under the nuclear agreement, it will lead to the discrediting of the US.

Accusing the US Supreme Court ruling which ordered the seizure of Iranian assets of "breaking the norms of international law," Rouhani continued to claim that Iran was growing stronger in the aftermath of the deal signed last year.

Rouhani, whose Islamic Republic sponsors Shi'ite militias accused of atrocities in Iraq and Syria, along with terror organization Hezbollah and the Assad regime, began his speech by invoking the 2001 September 11 attack in New York, before condemning the actions of various actors in the Middle East.

"Nobody imagined that this (September 11) would lead to a larger disaster leading to a devastating war in the Middle East and the spread of instability... sowing the seeds of borderless terrorism everywhere on earth," he said.

Singling out Israel, he refereed to the Jewish state as "the usurping Zionist regime" and what he charged were its "web of apartheid politics and atrocities."

Also during his speech, Rouhani called on Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia to "cease and desist" from division if Riyadh was serious about regional peace and security.

On Saudi Arabia, Rouhani said that if the 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."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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