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US withdrawal from nuclear deal 'travesty', 'reckless': Iran

Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation president Ali Akbar Salehi in Vienna [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 September, 2018

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The head of Iran's nuclear agency made the remarks in Vienna at the annual International Atomic Energy conference.
The head of Iran's nuclear agency on Monday said US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord was an "open travesty" and a "reckless act".

Ali Akbar Salehi said the "ominous move" by Washington was doomed to have serious repercussions for peace in the region and internationally.

He also called on the EU to stand up to the US and "uphold its commitments".

In his speech at the annual International Atomic Energy conference in Vienna, the US energy secretary defended his country's withdrawal, calling the nuclear agreement "flawed".

Rick Perry said the deal failed to address what he said was Iran's "continued misconduct," referring to the recent detention in Europe of an Iranian diplomat accused of plotting to bomb an opposition rally in France. 

Before pulling out of the accord, Trump had repeatedly threatened to rip up the nuclear deal, which was signed under his predecessor Barack Obama. 

Other partners in the nuclear agreement include Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the EU.

All partners, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, tasked with inspecting Iran's compliance, agree that Iran has stuck by its commitments.

Last month, Iran appeared before the UN's top court accusing Washington of plotting Tehran's "economic strangulation" and has demanded the suspension of US nuclear-linked sanctions against the country.

The Iranian rial stood at around 40,000 to the dollar in October, when Trump said he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. The rial has been falling rapidly since then. 

The currency now stands above 120,000 to the dollar on the black market. 

A second, more crippling set of US sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector and countries that do business with it will come into force on 4 November. 

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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