US President Donald Trump used the occasion of his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly to announce a profound shift in American foreign policy — most notably on Iran, which once against finds itself cast as a rogue nation, following the relative honeymoon years of President Barack Obama’s two terms in the White House.
Trump slammed the Islamic Republic, declaring that it was “past time to confront” the “murderous regime” in Tehran, and making clear his deep distaste for the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “[W]e cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump said.
Iran’s leaders spoke “openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room,” the president noted. Iran stood “in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.” Trump accused the Iranian government of “masking a corrupt dictatorship under the guise of a democracy,” condemning Tehran for using “its oil profits…to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors,” alongside its backing for the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in Syria — decried by Trump as a “criminal regime” that had used illegal chemical weapons against its own civilians, adults and children alike.
“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said. “It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.”
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