President Trump: I’m Not Meeting With Iran Until They Change Their Behavior

April FrancisSep 26, 2018

President Donald Trump called on the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to isolate Iran's dictatorship through sanctions and diplomacy.

Trump had earlier in the day urged the worldwide community to isolate Iran, accusing the Tehran regime of sowing "chaos, death and destruction", ahead of the administration's plans to reimpose harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic on November 5.

While he praised China's President Xi Jinping for his role in the North Korea peace process, Trump had harsh words for Beijing amid a growing trade war, saying the commercial imbalance with the Asian power "cannot be tolerated".

The overarching theme for Trump's speech was "America first", a theme he's repeated throughout his presidency.

The moment only reinforced Trump's isolation among allies and foes alike, as his nationalistic policies have created rifts with erstwhile partners and cast doubt in some circles about the reliability of American commitments around the world.

Riyadh and its Gulf allies have hailed Trump's decision to exit the nuclear deal and to reimpose sanctions on Tehran, reflecting their concern about Iran's influence in the region.

"Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction", Trump said in his address.

"The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran's treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy and looted the people's religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war".

To pile on the pain, Washington says all countries must end crude imports from Iran by November 4, hitting the oil sales that generate 60 percent of the country's income. The sanctions have already caused turmoil in oil markets and led some analysts to predict $100 a barrel crude oil.

Barely an hour before he spoke, in fact, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared to the assembly that global co-operation is the world's best hope and "multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most".

This day began with the United Nations secretary-general talking of a lack of trust and a need for more global unity and US President Donald Trump going in the opposite direction with a call for stronger individual sovereignty. "Even worse, some countries abused their openness to dump their products, subsidize their goods, target our industries and manipulate their currencies to gain unfair advantage over our country".

Iran says Europe offers new trade proposals amid US sanctions
In May, the Trump administration had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and brought back economic sanctions against Tehran. So far, the 28-nation bloc has not put forward a concrete proposal for making payments to Iran for buying of oil.

Trump's elation at the bilateral trade deals recently signed with Mexico and South Korea is a concrete indication of what direction Trump intends to take U.S. trade policy - away from regional trade pacts that he believes are not in the best interests of the US.

"Those days are over. Democratic principles are under siege", he added just minutes before Trump was to take the podium. "US wealth has been plundered and transferred", Trump claimed.

Russian Federation was also a topic of the president's speech, including Moscow's sale of S-300 missiles to Syria.

During his United Nations address Tuesday, the president defended his decision to pull the US out of the UN Human Rights Council.

"We will not return until real reform is enacted", he said.

"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy".

"America will always choose independence and co-operation over global governance, control and domination", Trump declared.

"We reject the ideology of globalism", he added.

Boasting that his team "has achieved more than any administration in the history of our country", Trump was met with laughter, highly unusual in the solemn General Assembly.

He said that Trump has repeatedly asked to meet, but that he would decline to do so until Trump comes back to negotiations on the basis of the 2015 nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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