Trump calls on world to isolate Iran, attacks ‘globalism’ in U.N. speech

September 25, 2018

President Trump called on world leaders Tuesday to isolate and sanction Iran until the Islamic Republic stops spreading terrorism and working to build a nuclear arsenal.

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons,” Mr. Trump told the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues.”

The president, who said he won’t meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran in May, saying it rewarded Tehran for its bad behavior.

“The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles [and to] finance havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen.”

In his second dress to the world body, Mr. Trump struck a more somber tone than last year, when he had warned the U.S. would “destroy” North Korea if it persisted in threatening America.

But Mr. Trump went after a series of “globalist” world bodies, including the World Trade Organization, the oil-producing OPEC coalition, and the International Criminal Court, which he said has “no legitimacy.”

Referring to his tariff war with China, Mr. Trump said the U.S. has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs since China joined the WTO.

“We have racked up $13 trillion in trade deficits over last two decades,” he said. “Those days are over. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens. China’s market distortions and the way they deal cannot be tolerated. America will always act in our national interest.”

He said OPEC “is ripping off the rest of the world” with high oil prices.

“We defend these nations for nothing and then they take advantage of us with high oil prices,” Mr. Trump said. “We are not going to put up with it, these horrible prices, much longer.”

The world body greeted Mr. Trump with audible grumbling and some laughter when he began the speech with a victory lap of his domestic economic achievements.

“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished almost more than any administration in the history of our country,” Mr. Trump said. Then he paused as murmurs of apparent disapproval were heard in the massive hall.

“So true,” Mr. Trump ad-libbed. “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK.”

Update hourly