Trump accuses Iran of sowing chaos

US President Trump (left) and Iranian President Rouhani

US President Trump (left) and Iranian President Rouhani

US President Donald Trump has attacked the Iranian leadership, accusing it of sowing “chaos, death and destruction” across the Middle East.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he defended his decision to abandon the nuclear deal.

Mr Trump also boasted that his administration had accomplished “more than almost any” other in US history.

His words were greeted with laughter but he laughed back, saying: “Didn’t expect that reaction.”

The United States was stronger, richer and safer, he insisted.

He also defended his administration’s nurturing of better ties with North Korea and its hard line on trade with China.

One of his key themes, however, was the right of America to pursue its own path in the world.

“I honour the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions,” he said.

“The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honour our sovereignty in return”

“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” he said.

“They do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.

Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.”

The US decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran was widely applauded by other Middle Eastern countries, Mr Trump insisted.

The deal negotiated during the presidency of Barack Obama had seen Iran limit its controversial nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

The US leader said his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June had led to developments unimaginable only a few months ago.

He said North Korean missiles and rockets had stopped flying in all directions, and North Korean nuclear testing had ceased.

“With support from many countries here today we have engaged with North Korea to replace the spectre of conflict with a bold and new push for peace,” he said.

 

On Monday, Mr Trump said he expected a second summit with Mr Kim soon.

 

Mr Trump also praised India for raising millions of people out of poverty “and into the middle class”, hailed Saudi Arabia’s “bold, new” reforms, commended Israel as a “thriving democracy” and said Poland was a country that stood up for its own sovereignty. -BBC

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