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Trump, Macron and Rouhani talk migration, climate change and the Iran deal at UN address

Trump, Macron and Rouhani talk migration, climate change and the Iran deal at UN address
Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Sallyann Nicholls
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President Trump is to deliver his second speech at the UN General Assembly in New York this afternoon, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.


President Donald Trump delivered his second ever speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday evening, championing the performance of his administration since he entered office in 2016 - to the audience's amusement.

"In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country," he said, before stopping when he heard laughter in the rows in front.

"I didn't expect that reaction, but that's okay," he remarked.

Migration crises, Iran and the legitimacy of some UN institutions were questioned by Trump in much of his speech, which was less provocative and more subdued this year.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also spoke from the podium later in the evening.

As expected, Rouhani hit out at the US in his speech, decrying their "illegal" withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement in May, which sought to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions by lifting economic sanctions.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly in New YorkREUTERS

"The United States, from the very beginning, never remained faithful to their obligations," he said.

He went on to allege hypocrisy, saying the US claims to want peace but is acting to the contrary by reintroducing sanctions and waging an "economic war" on the country.

"The US government does not even conceal its plan to overthrow the government it invites to talks," he said.

The assembly of world leaders at UN headquarters came just days after Iran was rocked by a shooting Saturday during a military parade in the city of Ahvaz that killed 25, an attack which their Revolutionary Guard claims was backed by the US and Israel.

It was also the first General Assembly since Washington withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Tehran, prompting an international outcry.

And it was at last year's assembly that Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it continued to terrorise its neighbours and US allies with missile tests. His relations with its leader, Kim Jong Un, though, have since warmed considerably.

5 things to take away from Trump's speech

The 'only long-term solution' to the migration crisis

Governments overseeing large numbers of emmigrants should "make their countries great again" to discourage them from travelling illegally elsewhere, the US president told the General Assembly.

'A bold push for peace'

Trump thanked Kim Jong Un for his "courage" after the pair met for denuclearisation talks in Singapore in June.

He said much progress had been made to denuclearise the Korean peninsular "that few could have imagined" a short time ago, but much work remained to be done and sanctions on North Korea will remain in place.


A 'brutal regime' which sows 'chaos, death and destruction'

Trump defended Washington's moves to "deny the [Iranian] regime the funds to advance its bloody agenda" by reintroducing "hard-hitting" nuclear sanctions on November 5.

He urged buyers of Iran's crude oil "to cut their purchases substantially", adding: "We ask all nations to isolate Iran's regime as long as its agression continues".

A 'grave embarassment'

The UN's Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has become a "grave embarrassment", according to Trump, who accused it of "bashing" America while 'shielding other human rights abusers'. The US left the body in June.

He then took aim at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which he said had "no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority".


"We will never surrender our sovereignity to an unelected, unaccountable global burreacracy," he added.

'Repressive regime'

"Socialism has bunkrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty," Trump said Tuesday about President Nicolas Maduro's government in Venezuela.

He went on to refer to new US sanctions which will be imposed on Maduro's "repessive regime", his inner circle and close advisors, including his wife.

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Follow our coverage of the General Assembly in the blog below and video player above:

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