On Wednesday, tensions between the United States and Iran over security and human rights erupted, with the Iranian president calling for U.S. guarantees to save the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and the American president promising that Tehran would never acquire nuclear weapons.
Following the murder of an Iranian lady in police custody, which has caused protests across Iran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi criticised ‘double standards’ on human rights in a defiant manner before the United Nations General Assembly.
Holding up a photo of Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Raisi added that Tehran wanted former U.S. President Donald Trump to stand trial for the killing of the general in a U.S. drone attack in Iraq in 2020.
Raisi told the U.N. General Assembly that ‘there is a great and serious will to resolve all issues to revive the (2015 nuclear) deal. The only thing we ask for is commitments to be kept,’
Later, Vice President Joe Biden of the United States repeated his readiness to resurrect the nuclear agreement, under which Iran had consented to limit its atomic development in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
In 2018, Trump unilaterally reimposed sanctions that had crippled Iran’s economy and pulled the United States from the nuclear agreement.
A year later, Tehran retaliated by gradually breaking the terms of the nuclear agreement, reigniting concerns in the United States, Israel, and Gulf Arab countries that Iran may be pursuing nuclear weapons development, a desire it vehemently rejects.
The experience of America’s exit from the (agreement) is in front of us, Raisi said. ‘Can we dismiss the crucial question of guarantees for a permanent agreement with that experience and this viewpoint?’
Raisi omitted mentioning Iran’s demand that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stop its investigations into uranium traces discovered at three secret Iranian locations, which is a significant obstacle to resurrecting the agreement.
The investigations, according to U.S. and European officials, can only be finished if Iran responds satisfactorily to questions from the U.N. nuclear inspector, whose head, Rafael Grossi, stressed that these problems cannot be wished away.