On September 25, President Donald Trump blasted Iran’s leaders for corruption, supporting terror, and fomenting instability in the Middle East. "Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction," he said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. "Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond." Trump called on the international community to isolate Iran while supporting its people.
Earlier in the morning, Trump’s remarks about Iran had a more optimistic tone. He stated that he had no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this year. But he said a future meeting was possible and that he was sure that Rouhani is a "lovely man."
Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2018
Iran’s U.N. mission, however, issued a statement saying that the country had not requested a meeting. In an interview with CNN, President Hassan Rouhani also denied ever having requested a meeting with President Trump.
Upon his arrival at the United Nations, Trump told reporters that has Iran has behaved “very badly” and that it “has to change its tune” before he meets with its leaders.
"Iran has to change its tune before I meet with them," Pres. Trump says at #UNGA. "It will happen. I believe they have no choice."— ABC News (@ABC) September 25, 2018
"We look forward to having a great relationship with Iran," he adds. "But it won't happen now." https://t.co/Krusm2yrGb pic.twitter.com/w2zdVDxarR
The following are excerpts on Iran from Trump’s U.N. address and his remarks from a U.N. Security Council briefing on counterproliferation.
Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran.
Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.
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. Not good.
Iran’s neighbors have paid a heavy toll for the region's [regime’s] agenda of aggression and expansion. That is why so many countries in the Middle East strongly supported my decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal and re-impose nuclear sanctions.
The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen.
The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda. Last month, we began re-imposing hard-hitting nuclear sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran deal. Additional sanctions will resume November 5th, and more will follow. And we're working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially.
We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can't do it.
We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues. And we ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.
Remarks at the U.N. Security Council Briefing on Counterproliferation
September 26, 2018
By early November, all U.S. nuclear-related sanctions to counter Iran's malign behavior will be in full force. pic.twitter.com/n8hoFXssKP— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 26, 2018
The Syrian regime’s butchery is enabled by Russia and Iran. The Iranian regime exports violence, terror, and turmoil. It illicitly procures sensitive items to advance its ballistic missile program and proliferates these missiles all across the Middle East.
The regime is the world’s leading sponsor of terror and fuels conflict across the region and far beyond. A regime with this track record must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon.
For this reason, I announced earlier this year that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
This horrible, one-sided deal allowed Iran to continue its path towards a bomb and gave the regime a cash lifeline when they needed it the most. They were in big, big trouble. They needed cash. We gave it to them.
In the years since the deal was signed, Iran’s aggression only increased. The regime used new funds from the deal to support terrorism, build nuclear-capable missiles, and foment chaos.
Following America’s withdrawal, the United States began re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. All U.S. nuclear-related sanctions will be in full force by early November. They will be in full force.
After that, the United States will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before, to counter the entire range of Iran’s malign conduct. Any individual or entity who fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences.
I ask all members of the Security Council to work with the United States to ensure the Iranian regime changes its behavior and never acquires a nuclear bomb.
With all of this said, I want to thank Iran, Russia, and Syria for -- at my very strong urging and request -- substantially slowing down their attack on Idlib Province and the 3 million people who live there in order to get 35,000 targeted terrorists. Get the terrorists, but I hope the restraint continues. The world is watching.