NEWS

US, Iran Face Off at UN

September 23, 2020

by: Kate Norman

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US President Trump delivers a pre-recorded address at the UN 75th General Assembly (illustrative).

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 | In speeches before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, the US and Iran lambasted each other in a verbal match that is the latest battle in their ongoing tensions.

US President Donald Trump called Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror” in his video speech to the assembly while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out in his own virtual statement, calling the US a “terrorist and interventionist outsider.”

The two nations have been at odds since Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by his predecessor, Obama. The Trump administration’s recent efforts to initiate snapback sanctions against the Islamic regime as punishment for failing to adhere to the deal’s nuclear restrictions are also fueling the fire.

Touting the international victories under his presidency, President Trump lauded the US achievement of eliminating “the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani.” Soleimani was the chief of Iran’s Quds Force who was killed in a US strike in January. The regime’s leaders mourned at his funeral, and Rouhani called Soleimani an “assassinated hero” in his own speech. 

Trump also hailed the US “crippling sanctions” against Iran. Rouhani asserted in response: “The United States can impose neither negotiations nor war on us. Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence.”

The regime’s president continued by vowing that “any US administration after the upcoming elections will have no choice but to surrender to the resilience of the Iranian nation.”

That resilience, however, seems to be struggling as the regime’s currency is crumbling under the American “maximum pressure” sanctions and the Islamic nation is hard-hit by the virus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also used his address to lambast the Jewish state, claiming in his heated speech that “occupation and oppression in Palestine…is the bleeding wound of humanity” and that the “dirty hand that reaches the privacy of Jerusalem…is constantly increasing its audacity.”

As Erdoğan spoke, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan stood up and walked out of the room, shaking his head.

Iran and Turkey both castigated the UAE and Bahrain as traitors to the Palestinian cause for their recent normalization with Israel. Trump, however, lauded the US-brokered Abraham Accords—calling it “the dawn of the new Middle East” and vowing that more Arab states are soon to join.

“I have never been more optimistic about the future of the region,” Trump said. “There is no blood in the sand. Those days are, hopefully, over.”

Posted on September 23, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 23, 2020)

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com