UNITED NATIONS: United States (US) President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched a scathing attack against Tehran, accusing its leader of being aggressive towards their neighbours and only seeking to enrich themselves.
In his 15-minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Trump branded Iran a “corrupt dictatorship” and announced a new set of measures to bring it down.
Trump said that the US has already launched a “campaign of economic pressure” to cut any funds to Iran.
And he announced more sanctions will follow on November 5 after the ones launched earlier this summer.
The sanctions were originally halted in 2015, when China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, the UK, Iran and the US signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – also known as Iran nuclear deal.
Trump said, “Iran’s leader sow chaos, death and destruction. They do not respect neighbours or borders of sovereignty of nations. They enrich themselves and spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.”
Trump also renewed his disapproval for the Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015 by former US president Barack Obama.
The US president argued Iran’s military budget grew “nearly four percent” after the Iran nuclear deal was signed.
“All nations should isolate Iran’s leadership as long as their aggression continues,” he added.
Trump’s speech was scheduled to take place at 3.15pm BST, but it was pushed back as he spent time speaking to reporters minutes before he had to step on the podium.
To them, he announced his desire to improve the US relations with Iran – but only after Tehran’s leader will “change”.
He said, “I am not meeting with them until they change their tune. It will happen. I believe they have no choice. We look forward to having a great relationship with Iran, but it would not happen now.”
Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May, to the dismay of European allies, Russia and China which had invested years in negotiations to achieve a milestone agreement on keeping Iran´s nuclear ambitions in check.
The five remaining parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — announced on Monday plans to keep business ties alive with Iran, staring down Washington´s move to impose sanctions.
Trump used his UN address last year to bash the nuclear deal as “an embarrassment”, signaling that the United States was ready to walk away from the agreement.
After its exit, the US maintains that it is seeking to ramp up pressure on Iran which it accuses of sowing chaos in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
“As I have said repeatedly, regime change in Iran is not the administration´s policy,” Trump´s national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
“We have imposed very stringent sanctions on Iran, more are coming, and what we expect from Iran is massive changes in their behavior,” he said.
After a late meeting on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced that a new legal entity would be set up to preserve oil and other business links with Iran.
“This will mean that EU member-states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran,” Mogherini told reporters, flanked by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.