Published Sep 06, 2018 11:13am

Iran minister criticises Trump for focusing on Iran at UN

AP

Iran's foreign minister sharply criticised United States (US) President Donald Trump on Wednesday for abusing the US presidency of the Security Council this month by holding a meeting on Iran's international activities during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations (UN) in late September.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was responding in a tweet to US Ambassador Nikki Haley's announcement on Tuesday that Trump will chair a meeting to address "violations of international law and general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region."

She had accused Iran of supporting terrorism and destabilising activities in Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.

Zarif tweeted that Trump "plans to abuse presidency of Security Council to divert a session item devoted to Palestine for 70 years to blame Iran for horrors US and clients have unleashed across Middle East."

He also accused Trump of violating a 2015 UN Security Council resolution, number 2231, that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The president withdrew the US from the nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers in May.

Zarif said, "Donald Trump is violating it and bullying others to do same."

Under Security Council rules, Iran can speak at the September 26 meeting that Trump will chair, but Zarif and Iran's UN Mission did not indicate whether it would participate. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to attend the General Assembly's ministerial session, along with Zarif.

The mission said in a press release that despite the fact that Iran is in compliance with all its nuclear obligations under the 2015 deal according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, "the US not only unilaterally and unlawfully withdrew from the accord, but also now openly invites all UN member states to either violate or ignore resolution 2231 or face punishment."

The mission called Israel's occupation of Palestine "the main cause of all conflicts in the Middle East" and accused the US, Israel's most important supporter, of rendering the Security Council "ineffective in discharging its duty to end the illegal occupation."

Iran called the September 26 council meeting "a further attempt by the US to divert attention away from Israeli brutalities and to remove the issue from the council agenda; however, such actions are doomed to fail."

Answering US criticism of "the so-called destabilising role of Iran in the region," the Iranian mission called the United States "a menace to Middle Eastern security with its destabilising, unilateralist policies and military interventions based on false claims."

It pointed to the US invasion of Iraq, its presence in Afghanistan, "the illegal occupation" of nearly one-third of Syria, and its part in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has been accused of killing civilians.

The mission noted that Iran was in "the forefront" of defeating the militant Islamic State group which it claimed was created and supported by the US and its regional allies.

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