Khamenei says US undermines deal that lifted sanctions

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says US lifted sanctions on paper but obstructs Iran's international business.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, June 12, 2009.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States on Wednesday of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions.

Khamenei told hundreds of workers that a global deal, signed between Iran and world powers, had lifted financial sanctions, but US obstruction was stopping Iran getting the full economic fruits of the agreement.

"On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran," he said in quotes from the speech posted on his website.

Iran has repeatedly urged Washington to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector, in the spirit of the July deal with the United States, the European Union, Russia and China to lift most sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

But some US sanctions remain, and US banks remain prohibited from doing business with Iran directly or indirectly because Washington still accuses Tehran of supporting terrorism and human rights abuses.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Manhattan, New York City, US, April 22, 2016.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Saturday that Washington was not trying to stop Iran dealing with banks outside the United States.

"There are now opportunities for foreign banks to do business with Iran ... Unfortunately there seems to be some confusion among some foreign banks and we want to try and clarify that," Kerry said.

TRTWorld, Reuters