Iran has accused Washington of failing to abide by the nuclear deal. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said sanctions against the Islamic republic had been lifted only “on paper.”

Khamenei was giving a speech in Tehran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He said the United States did not respect the commitments. He said Washington was using indirect method to stop Iran from achieving its targets.

In addition, he said Western allies of the United States were afraid of having trade relations with Tehran. “Today, in all the Western countries which are under their influence, banking transactions come up against problems,” Al Arabiya quoted the leader as saying in a pre-recorded televised address.

“When we investigated, we realised that they are afraid of the Americans.”

The Iranian leader gave utmost priority to the economy. He complained of the price of crude as it meant weak growth and low receipts. According to him, the “economy of resistance” can prevent recession and unemployment. It can also “control inflation and confront the threats of enemies,” he said.

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“Steps have been taken and these preliminary actions must continue,” Khamenei assured. “I do not expect that these problems will be solved in a year, but I’m sure that if appropriate actions are taken, we will see the effects at the end of the year.”

US Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, defended the nuclear deal at the annual American Israeli Public Affairs Committee. His views, however, did not find many supporters in the pro-Israel audience.

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Biden stressed that the Islamic republic was further away from achieving nuclear power after the deal. He assured that Washington was watching the Middle Eastern country “like a hawk.” With “unambiguous” commitments, Washington will act if there was a violation of the nuclear deal, he said.