Iran's Rouhani calls Trump 'ignorant' and a 'rogue newcomer'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized US President Donald Trump during his speech to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Rouhani called Trump a "rogue newcomer to international politics." His speech came a day after Trump said Iran was part of a "small group of rogue regimes" during his first ever UNGA speech. Trump also criticized the Iran nuclear deal as an "embarrassment" to the US.
On August 20, US President Donald Trump gave his inaugural speech to the UN General Assembly in which he vowed that America would destroy North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies. He mocked the North's leader Kim Jong-un, saying: "Rocket man is on a suicide mission." Trump also criticized Iran, calling it a "corrupt dictatorship" resolved to destabilize the Middle East.
Rouhani described Trump's speech to the UNGA as "ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric" that was "unfit to be heard at the United Nations." He called Trump's speech an insult to Iranian people and said Tehran was waiting for him to apologize.
Rouhani described the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as "a new model for international relations" which has "opened our doors to engagement and cooperation." "Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement," Rouhani said. "But it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party." Rouhani suggested Iran could increase uranium enrichment levels but stressed it wouldn't develop nuclear weapons.
Trump has vehemently opposed the Iran nuclear deal which was negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama's administration. Last month, the White House said Iran was sticking to its obligations under the deal but Trump argued Tehran is violating its spirit. The deal's other signatories, namely UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China; have confirmed that Iran is complying.
The US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, clarified Trump's UNGA remarks saying they were "not a clear signal that he plans to withdraw" but that the president is unhappy with the deal. British foreign secretary Boris Johnson earlier said: "We are continually urging the Americans not to tear it up." French President Emmanuel Macron also defended the deal during his UNGA speech.