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Myanmar, JCPOA Top Rouhani’s UN Trip Agenda

Myanmar, JCPOA Top Rouhani’s UN Trip AgendaMyanmar, JCPOA Top Rouhani’s UN Trip Agenda

President Hassan Rouhani plans to discuss the nuclear deal and regional and non-regional issues, especially Myanmar's oppression of Rohingya Muslims, with other world leaders on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Sunday before departing for New York, the venue for the annual gathering, Rouhani said, "In the New York meetings, bilateral relations, issues related to JCPOA and the region and other parts of the world, including Myanmar, will be discussed."

He was using an abbreviation for a high-profile deal between Iran and the six major powers, which is formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It was reached in July 2015 and went into force six months later to swap temporary curbs on Tehran's nuclear work for relief from international sanctions.

But US President Donald Trump, who took office around the one-year anniversary of the deal's implementation, has come out as an avowed enemy of the action plan.

Despite approving the nuclear sanctions relief twice by certifying Iran's compliance with the agreement in quarterly notifications to Congress, the hawkish Republican has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iran over alleged charges unrelated to the nuclear issue, including terrorism sponsorship and human rights abuses.

His administration has also been ratcheting up pressure on the International Atomic Energy Agency to use its JCPOA-mandated oversight authority to seek access to Iranian military sites for inspection, a demand that the UN nuclear watchdog has withstood and authorities in Tehran have flatly rejected.

Such attempts are widely aimed at building a case to justify Washington's future pullout from the accord.

Foreign ministers from Iran and the six parties, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, are to convene on the sidelines of the annual event to discuss Tehran's complaint about the US hostile stance.

***Handful of Opponents

"JCPOA is an agreement in the interest of the security, stability and development of the region and the world, and its opponents are confined to two or three countries as well as certain groups in the United States," Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The US partners in the deal oppose Trump's antagonistic stance and have shunned his calls for a full review of the pact.

The annual UN General Assembly opened on September 12 and lasts until December or January.

Rouhani is expected to address UNGA's gathering of leaders from 193 member states, known as the General Debate, on Wednesday. He is also due to separately meet with a number of other leaders in attendance.

Participants in the New York gathering will also address the escalated violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, one of the most persecuted minorities who have fled the country to escape atrocities.

They have faced a fresh wave of violence since August 25, when some of the Myanmar Army posts came under attack allegedly by insurgents.

The army troops mounted a crackdown on the Rohingya in retaliation, which has left hundreds dead and forced nearly 400,000 of the impoverished community to flee to Bangladesh.

Rouhani urged an international response to end the atrocities in Myanmar, which he said are one of "the most heinous" ever seen in Asia.

"All should be sensitive to the issue and condemn the measures of the Myanmar government and army," he said.

 

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