United Nations

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani condemns ‘ignorant, absurd and hateful’ Trump at UN

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 September, 2017, 1:17am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 September, 2017, 2:28am

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Wednesday sharply criticised US President Donald Trump, referring to Trump’s fiery remarks before the UN as “ignorant, absurd and hateful.”

Rowhani said the United States would “destroy its own credibility” by quitting the nuclear deal made under former President Barack Obama during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement,” Rowhani said. “But it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party.

“It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by ‘rogue’ newcomers to the world of politics: the world will have lost a great opportunity,” Rowhani said.

In his much-anticipated speech, Rowhani attempted to characterise his country’s policy as moderate in comparison to Trump’s combative talk before the UN on Tuesday.

“We are not preaching moderation,” he said. “We are practising it.”

Trump said on Wednesday he has made a decision about whether to keep or kill the Iran nuclear agreement he has called an “embarrassment to the United States” – but won’t yet say what it is.

“I’ll let you know what the decision is,” Trump told reporters before speaking with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Rowhani made his remarks a day after Trump’s debut UN General Assembly speech in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it continued to pose a threat to the United States and criticised the described the nuclear deal with Iran. Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to suspend its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The deal did not address Iran’s military efforts around the globe, including helping to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or helping to fuel a civil war in Yemen.

Trump has been sharply critical of the nuclear deal and has broadly hinted that his administration would withdraw from the agreement.

Trump sharply slammed Iran’s government in his Tuesday speech. “It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” Trump said.