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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

US President Donald Trump calls on states to isolate Iran in United Nations speech

UN General Assembly 2018: Mr Trump speaks about Iran, Yemen and international trade

Mr Trump took aim at Iran over its nuclear programme and ambitions in the Middle East in his second address to the United Nations General Assembly. Bloomberg
Mr Trump took aim at Iran over its nuclear programme and ambitions in the Middle East in his second address to the United Nations General Assembly. Bloomberg

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At the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, US President Donald Trump set a combative tone against Iran, calling on the international community to isolate the regime.

The US President spoke for 35 minutes, also criticising China's trade policy, Germany's energy reliance, OPEC's fuel prices, Venezuela's socialist regime, the global impact of migration, and the UN Human Rights Council.

The president said "Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction," criticising their influence in the region and fighting of proxy wars.

"Many countries in the region strongly supported my decision to remove the United States from the Iran deal," he said.

The president asked, "all nations to isolate Iran's regime," but expressed hope for better relations with the country, saying he hoped at some point there would be a deal similar to that with North Korea.

Mr Trump also took aim at OPEC, which he has recently asked to lower their prices. He said he would like to see the OPEC nations contributing "substantially to military protection".

But the president's speech was not entirely critical. Mr Trump praised economic reforms in Saudi Arabia, and also praised North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, and the countries of India, Israel and Poland.

However, Mr Trump did not address a number of key areas, including Russia, climate change and the UN's sustainable development goals.

Shortly after Mr Trump finished speaking delegates emptied out of the hall, meaning the following speaker, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, spoke to a diminished audience.

The president's speech comes at a tense time for the US's relationship with other member states.

Under Mr Trump's administration, the United States has quit the JCPOA nuclear agreement, pulled out of the Paris climate accords, and imposed sanctions on countries around the world.

The president was expected to be the second person to address the assembly, after Brazil's traditional opening speech, but in an unexpected turn of events, Mr Trump had not arrived by the time Brazil had finished speaking. Mr Lenin of Ecuador took to the stage instead.

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