President Donald Trump criticized the Iranian government and questioned the fortitude of the Iran nuclear deal during his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Trump called for the world to confront Iran, and painted a picture of the “reckless regime” whose chief exports he described as “violence, bloodshed, and chaos.”
“The longest suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people,” Trump said. “Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”
Trump specifically condemned Iran for “undermining peace” in the Middle East by sending support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
With widespread speculation as to whether the Trump administration would keep the Iran nuclear deal, which the Obama administration entered into, the president called the agreement an “embarrassment” and spoke out strongly against it.
“We cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump said.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
Trump called on Iran to free Americans and other foreigners being “unjustly detained” by the Iranian government, and said the Iranian regime is more frightened by its citizens than almost anything else in the world. Trump identified the “vast military power of the United States” as the one exception.
“This [the power of the people] is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers,” Trump said. “Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be healthy and prosperous once again?”