Rohani Claims Trump Bid To Isolate Tehran Backfired At UN
RFE/RL September 28, 2018
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump failed to achieve the isolation of Iran that he sought at the United Nations, with the international community mostly ignoring his demands.
"Nobody backed the United States, putting America into a unique historical and political isolation," he told reporters at Tehran's airport late on September 27 after returning from New York, where he and Trump both addressed the UN General Assembly two days earlier.
Trump used his speech to denounce Iran as a "corrupt dictatorship" whose leaders "sow chaos, death, and destruction" throughout the Middle East, and he urged all nations to join the United States in imposing sanctions on Iran's government.
But according to Rohani, Trump achieved the opposite of what he'd hoped for in the assembly as well as at a UN Security Council meeting on September 26, where he said 14 other countries either openly backed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Trump abandoned this year or indicated their support for it.
Iran has maintained that Trump violated the agreement between Iran and six world powers when he pulled the United States out of it in May and moved to reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted under the deal in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.
Trump has claimed that the deal would not stop Iran from eventually developing nuclear weapons, and he predicted at the UN that Iran would eventually agree to renegotiate the deal in talks with his administration.
But Rohani told reporters that Trump's withdrawal from the deal was "a mistake" and that he believes the United States "sooner or later" will go back to supporting the deal, which was negotiated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
Rohani mocked Trump for having elicited laughter during his address at the UN, in a widely reported incident that occurred after Trump boasted about what he called the "unprecedented achievements" of his administration.
After Trump's boast, the assembly -- which included many leaders from other countries who were listening to a translation through headphones -- began to chuckle. Some broke into outright laughter.
"When Mr. Trump was speaking and at the beginning of his speech bragged a lot about the accomplishments of his-two year old administration, everyone laughed," Rohani said.
"What's important is that today, other than one or two countries, no one is supporting America," he said. "It's a historic political isolation that is rare for America."
The White House did not have an immediate response to Rohani's criticisms. Trump claimed after giving his UN speech that the other leaders were laughing "with him" rather than "at him."
With reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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