Trump, Netanyahu talk Middle East peace at United Nations meeting
Sep 23 2017
But Trump has denounced the deal as an "embarrassment" to the United States and has accused Iran of breaking it in "spirit" by arming militant groups and destabilising the region. "I am always excited to speak on your behalf to the nations of the world here at the UN".
Trump must decide by October 15 whether to certify that Iran is complying with the pact, a decision that could sink the deal.
"I think we have a pretty good shot", Trump said.
Rouhani, during a 23-minute address at the U.N. General Assembly, never mentioned Trump by name. He later conceded that reports from the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, "continue to confirm that Iran is in technical compliance with the agreement".
The 2015 Iran Nuclear Review Act gives Congress the right to vote on whether to reimpose sanctions suspended under the JCPOA, once the president decides to decertify.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said last week that he was aware of the direction Trump was leaning, but "that could change", he said He also would not specify what he knew of Trump's thinking but added that "we are definitely preparing" in Congress for the aftermath of that decision. So we need to start discussions on what happens afterwards.
Clues to the US stance might emerge later when the seven parties to the agreement are to meet, marking the first time US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif are to meet in the same room.
He saved some of his harshest criticism however for what he said was a possible violation by the United States of a landmark 1987 arms control treaty which bans Russian and American intermediate-range missiles on land.
What's new, he said, is that Iran says its ballistic missiles can carry multiple warheads and maybe several cluster bombs.
He added, "any break-up in Iraq or Syria does not benefit regional stability and we are ready to work with Iran to strengthen the foundations of peace and security in the region". Such action could lead Iran to then walk away from the deal or restart some nuclear activities it curtailed two years ago.
Rouhani denied that Iran had ever sought to obtain nuclear weapons and said the ballistic missiles it has been testing would be used only for defensive purposes. "We can nearly start the countdown clock as to when they will resume their nuclear weapons capability".
"Trump is not the president of the world. he cannot even manage his own government", he said.
What's in the agreement and why does it matter?
Trump returned to the theme in his address.
"We can not let a murderous regime continue these destabilising activities while building unsafe missiles", Trump said.
On Tuesday, Trump disparaged the deal at the U.N. General Assembly, calling it one of the worst transactions the US has ever entered into.
The United States pays 22 percent of the UN's $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.3 billion peacekeeping budget.
On Wednesday, Trump said he already has made a decision on what to do, but he would not say what it is.
Mr Rouhan condemned Mr Trump's combative speech as "ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric" and said Iran would not be intimidated by threats as he promised to stick with the nuclear accord.
And he made the point that the deal is not just the purview of the U.S., but was arrived at by a number of countries.
Paris took one of the hardest lines against Tehran in the negotiations, but has been quick to restore trade ties and Macron has said repeatedly there is no alternative to the deal.
He also slammed what he suggested were double standards in USA foreign policy, telling the audience Iran did not "promote freedom in one place while supporting dictators elsewhere".
"The JCPOA can become a new model for global interactions, interactions based on mutual constructive engagement between all of us", he said.