Iran denounces ‘ignorant, absurd, hateful’ Trump speech

Iranian president says country will respond ‘resolutely’ if nuclear deal scrapped

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani: said it would be a pity if “rogue newcomers” jeopardised the nuclear deal. Photograph: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani: said it would be a pity if “rogue newcomers” jeopardised the nuclear deal. Photograph: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

 

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani hit out at US president Donald Trump in an address to the United Nations general assembly on Wednesday, warning that Iran would respond “decisively and resolutely” if the United States walks away from the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking a day after Mr Trump name-checked Iran as one of several “rogue states” that threaten world peace, Mr Rouhani described Mr Trump’s speech as “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric”.

In a barely veiled reference to the US president, Mr Rouhani said it would be a pity if “rogue newcomers to the world of global politics” jeopardised the deal.

His comments come amid growing signs that the Trump administration may pull out of the landmark deal negotiated by the Obama administration and western powers in 2015.

Mr Trump indicated on Wednesday that he had made a decision on the future of the deal.

Responding to questions from reporters, he said: “I have decided … I’ll let you know what the decision is.”

In his speech to the United States general assembly on Tuesday, Mr Trump described the Iran deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into” and “an embarrassment to the United States”. He added: “I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it – believe me.”

He said that the regime in Tehran had “turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos”.

Potential rift

Other signatories to the deal – including Britain and France – remain supportive, potentially opening up a rift between the US and international allies should it move to dismantle the accord. Mr Trump is due to update congress on Iran’s compliance with the agreement by October 15th.

During his speech to the general assembly on Wednesday the Iranian president underlined Iran’s commitment to the deal.

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

But speaking to reporters later, he said he did not expect the United States to withdraw from the accord.

The Iran nuclear deal, signed in December 2015, saw Iran restrict its nuclear activities in exchange for international sanctions being lifted against the nuclear state. Mr Trump pledged to pull out of the deal during his presidential campaign.

Anti-nuclear treaty

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney welcomed as “groundbreaking” a new UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which was proposed by Ireland and five other countries.

Mr Coveney signed the treaty, which was backed by 122 UN member states, at a ceremony at UN headquarters on Wednesday.

While UN secretary general António Guterres welcomed the treaty as a milestone on the road to abolishing nuclear weapons, the world’s nuclear powers – including the US, Britain and France as well as other Nato members – effectively boycotted the treaty.

In a statement, Nato said the treaty “disregards the realities of the increasingly challenging international security environment”. Mr Coveney is due to address the assembly on Saturday.