Multiple nations expected to sign nuclear weapons ban at U.N. meeting

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UNITED NATIONS (N.Y.) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country won't be the first to violate the nuclear agreement with six world powers, "but it will respond decisively to its violation by any party."

In remarks clearly directed at U.S. President Donald Trump, he told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that "it will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics."

Rouhani said "the world will have lost a great opportunity, but such unfortunate behavior will never impede Iran's course of progress and advancement."

He said that "by violating its international commitments, the new U.S. administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise."

Iran has accused the Trump administration of not living up to its requirements on sanctions relief under the nuclear deal.

Also happening at Wednesday's U.N. Security Council meeting, countries have started signing on to the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons that is backed by over 100 nations. But the nuclear powers want no part of it.

Brazilian President Michel Temer was first to sign at a ceremony Wednesday at the United Nations. Its treaty office said 51 countries were expected to sign on the opening day.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls the pact "an important step towards the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons."

More than 120 countries approved the treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. They boycotted negotiations.

Supporters of the pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Nuclear powers say a ban won't work.



 
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