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Iran orders work on nuclear-fueled ships, alleges U.S. violation of deal

By Allen Cone
Iran orders work on nuclear-fueled ships, alleges U.S. violation of deal
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 71st session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 22. On Tuesday, he ordered the country's Atomic Energy Organization to start developing nuclear-powered ships in response to what he says are U.S. violations of the nuclear deal. File photo by Monika Graff/UPII | License Photo

TEHRAN, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country's Atomic Energy Organization to start developing nuclear-powered ships in response to what he alleges are United States' violations of the multi-party nuclear deal.

Rouhani directed the head of the agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, to draw up plans to design and manufacture nuclear propulsion devices and the fuel required for them, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. The agency leader must get back to him within three months, the president said. He said the work will done in cooperation with scientific and research centers.

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The president read a letter on state television that condemned the United States for breaching the 2015 nuclear accord. He also directed the foreign minister to challenge the United States legally.

The 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers -- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China -- lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program. The United States has separate restrictions on trade with Iran that were set to expire at the end of the year.

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On Dec. 1, the U.S. Senate extended the Iran Sanctions Act for another 10 years and it awaits a signature by President Barack Obama. The sanctions were first adopted in 1996.

Rouhani said Iran had warned that the approval of the ISA is a breach of the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

He said the United States was "foot-dragging" in fulfilling its commitments.

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On Monday, Iran's envoy to the United Nations, Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, told the General Assembly the multilateral nuclear deal will last only if all sides to the agreement comply with their contractual obligations.

"Although Iran has remained and will remain fully committed to the JCPOA as a multilateral agreement, in order for the deal's permanence to be guaranteed, all concerned parties, and not only Iran, will be required to fulfill all JCPOA commitment in a complete and timely fashion," he said.

Khoshroo earlier submitted an official letter of complaint to the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the Senate vote.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has called the accord "one of the worst deals ever negotiated" and pledged to renegotiate it with terms that favor the United States and its allies.

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