Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the United States has failed to fully honor a nuclear deal that lifts sanctions on Iran, and says many international companies continue to shy away from business with Tehran out of fear of U.S. reprisals.
His comments came in an address marking the Persian New Year, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Tehran on reaching a deal with Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States that keeps Iran from building nuclear weapons. In exchange, the six countries agreed to lift a longstanding oil embargo and other economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.
The deal took effect in January, creating widespread expectations in Iran for economic recovery after years of deep recession, high unemployment, and inflation.
But the lifting of sanctions coincides with a global oil glut that analysts say has limited Iranian profits and economic growth.
In his address, Khamenei largely focused on what he called Iran's difficulties in recouping banking assets in Western countries which were frozen under years of Western sanctions.
"When we follow up the matter and investigate to determine what the problem is, it becomes clear that [the banks] are afraid of the Americans," he said.
Obama on Saturday praised the agreement, saying it makes it possible for Iran to rejoin the global economy.