Trump, Rouhani exchange threats, insults on UN’s world stage

"Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction", the president told the U.N. General Assembly in a 34-minute speech.

"In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than nearly any administration in the history of our country", Trump proclaimed.

Political commentators widely noted that it was remarkable for a United States president to be laughed at by members of the assembly, without having provided an intentional punchline.

"The U.S. will not tell you how to live and work or worship", Trump said as he unapologetically promoted his "America First" agenda.

The elected Iranian leader said that his government would stay in the 2015 agreement, under which Tehran sharply scaled back its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

President Donald Trump got some laughter when he addressed world leaders on Tuesday.

In addition to the keynote speech, Trump is to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council on the topic of countering nuclear proliferation on Wednesday.

But Trump also called for the enforcement of sanctions, which the U.S. has spent years building through the Security Council in response to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

The European Union until now had faced difficulties devising a workable legal framework to shield its companies from United States sanctions that go into effect in November.

"In practical terms", Mogherini said, "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 in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world".

But much of his 35-minute address was aimed squarely at Iran, which the United States accuses of harbouring nuclear ambitions and fomenting instability in the Middle East through its support for militant groups in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

The US recently imposed sanctions after leaving the 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and world powers.

Trump is now renegotiating trade deals with several United States allies, including Canada and Mexico, using high tariffs for leverage.

Iran has been turned into a pariah state among many other countries after the USA slapped it with sanctions created to cripple it economically.

Tensions between the United States and the European Union over Iran soared into the open Tuesday (25 September) after the Europeans announced plans for a legal framework to preserve business with Tehran and evade new U.S. sanctions.

"Regrettably we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration", he said.

"Unfortunately, to ensure this progress continues, we must enforce existing UN Security Council resolutions until denuclearization occurs", Trump said, reading from a prepared text. "We are standing up for America and for the American people, and we are also standing up for the world. They needed cash. We gave it to them".

  • Rogelio Becker