Hailing his administration’s decision to withdraw from the “horrible” 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump called for a global isolation of the regime in Tehran in his address to the 73rd UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Many were waiting with bated breath for the remarks by Trump, who has been a vocal critic of the world body since his time on the campaign trail, variously criticising it for its lack of action on world crises, its policies on Israel and for being a "waste of time and money" despite its "tremendous potential".
And the US leader did not disappoint. In characteristically combative remarks, he hailed his administration’s decision to withdraw from the “horrible” 2015 Iran nuclear deal and called on "all nations" to isolate Iran’s regime.
Alleging that Iran’s leaders “sow chaos, death and destruction”, Trump said: “We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues.”
In a speech that called on UN member nations to place their national interests above multilateral agreements, Trump said members of the Iranian regime “do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations”.
Watch Trump's full speech at the UN
Trump’s speech came more than four months after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and a day after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Frederica Morgherini, announced an agreement for the signatories of the deal – including the EU, Russia and China – to avoid sanctions re-imposed by Washington.
Speaking at the UN just hours after Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani angrily accused his US counterpart of seeking to overthrow his government, while dismissing any possiblity of re-entering negotiations with the US.
"On what basis and criteria can we enter into an agreement with an administration misbehaving such as this?" Rouhani asked. "It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks."
Trump's boasting prompts laughter
Trump kicked off his speech with a list of his achievements since he took office in 2017. He went on to claim: “In less than two years, my administration accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”
As many in the audience erupted in laughter, Trump added, “So true,” with a smile before digressing from his script to note: “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK.”
Trump also used his speech to robustly attack "globalist" views and vowed that "America will never apologise for protecting its citizens".
He said that the UN-backed International Criminal Court has "no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority".
His administration -- which has recently choked off aid to the Palestinians -- will only support "our friends" in the future, he added.
UN chief warns of ‘chaotic’ world order
Trump's remarks came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in an opening address that the world order is "increasingly chaotic" with international trust at a breaking point, a state of affairs that could increase the risk of confrontation.
"Today, the world order is increasingly chaotic. Power relations are less clear," he told the 193-nation assembly. "Universal values are being eroded. Democratic principles are under siege."
"Individual leaders have the duty to advance the wellbeing of their people," Guterres continued. "But it runs deeper ... As guardians of the common good, we also have a duty to promote and support a reformed, reinvigorated and strengthened multilateral system."
He called for a renewed commitment to a rules-based international order with the UN at its centre and warned against the spread of the "politics of pessimism".
Guterres also acknowledged that climate change poses an existential threat if the world does not "change course" within the next two years.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2018-09-25