UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned Iran’s “thirst for blood” and called on other countries to join the United States in pressuring Tehran after two Saudi oil facilities came under attack but said there was a way to peace.
“America knows that while anyone can spark a war, only the most courageous are those who can choose peace,” Trump said in a speech to world leaders at the UN General Assembly.
In his third annual appearance at the United Nations, Trump spoke in a softer tone than his previous speeches at the United Nations in 2017 and 2018, where he looks forward to delivering more reassuring messages as he looks to stay in office for a second term next year despite a fresh attempt by some Democrats to isolate him.
The US president is seeking to improve his image in front of Americans, looking forward to a fierce election battle next year and aims to provide a reassuring message to allay voters’ concerns about his tendency to controversial statements.
The Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia rocked the Middle East and raised fears of a wider war. Trump has exercised restraint in the crisis by refraining from a military response, at least for now.
“All countries have a duty to act,” Trump told the UN General Assembly. Sanctions will not be lifted as long as Iran continues its threatening behavior. Sanctions will be tightened. ”
He urged his Gulf allies to normalize relations with Israel to achieve a regional counterweight to Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in his room at his New York hotel during Trump’s speech.
An Iranian diplomat sat in a second-row chair in Trump’s speech.
In remarks to media representatives on Tuesday, Rowhani said he was ready to discuss limited changes, additions or amendments to the Islamic Republic’s deal with the six powers in 2015 if the United States lifted sanctions on Tehran.
“I would be prepared to consider limited changes, additions or amendments to the nuclear agreement once the sanctions are lifted,” Rowhani said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped progress would be made on Iran in the coming hours after he held direct and frank talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Monday to try to find common ground.
“We have to go back to the negotiating table to have frank and urgent discussions on Iran’s nuclear and regional activities and its ballistic missile program, but we also have to adopt a larger approach to sanctions,” Macron told reporters, without elaborating.
“I hope we can make progress in the coming hours.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Rouhani on Tuesday and said she had told him she welcomed US talks with Iran, but it was unrealistic for Tehran to believe sanctions would be lifted before talks were held.
Iran faces widespread accusations of involvement in the attacks on Saudi Arabia 10 days ago but denies this.
Over the past week, Trump has tightened economic sanctions on Tehran and ordered more US troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to show support for its allies in the volatile region.
“After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran’s leaders to take a step forward and stop threatening other countries and focus on building their state,” Trump said.
“America is ready to establish friendship with those who genuinely seek peace and respect.”
Trump sent a tough message to China and President Xi Jinping, saying the world was watching how Beijing handled mass demonstrations in Hong Kong that have raised fears of a possible Chinese security crackdown.
“The way China will choose to address it will tell a lot about its future role in the world,” he said.
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