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Iranian president accuses US of trying to overthrow his government

Hassan Rouhani invited the US to return to negotiations within the UN Security Council, which endorsed the nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has accused the US of trying to overthrow his government, rejecting bilateral talks after President Donald Trump predicted stepped-up sanctions would get Tehran to negotiate over its nuclear programme.

Addressing world leaders at the UN General Assembly, Rouhani accused the Trump administration of violating “state obligations” from the Obama administration by withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with the US and five other major powers.

“On what basis and criteria can we enter into an agreement with an administration misbehaving such as this?” Rouhani asked.

“It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks.”

Rouhani invited the US to return to negotiations within the UN Security Council, which endorsed the nuclear deal.

There, he said, both sides could listen to each other.

“Beginning the dialogue starts with ending threats and unjust sanctions that negate the principles of ethics and international law,” he said.

In remarks released while Rouhani was still talking, US National Security Adviser John Bolton reinforced the decision to withdraw from the deal, echoing his president’s strong language and using blunt language to dismiss any entreaties from Tehran.

He called the scrapped Iran deal “the worst diplomatic debacle in American history”.

Rouhani, in his General Assembly speech, targeted Trump in language if not directly in name.

He condemned “recklessness and disregard of some states for international values and institutions”.

Rouhani laid into leaders who believe they can “ride public sentiments and gain popular support through the fomenting of extremist nationalism and racism” and through what he called “xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition”.

Trump, in his own speech, said Americans “reject the ideology of globalism” in favour of what he called “the doctrine of patriotism.” He also blasted what he called Iran’s “corrupt dictatorship”.

Rouhani also said US sanctions against his country amount to an “economic war” which is disrupting trade and will harm people beyond Iran.

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