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Trump at U.N. urges isolating Iran, tossing out 'abusive' trade deals

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday at the 73rd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters at in New York City. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday at the 73rd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters at in New York City. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump called on the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to isolate Iran's dictatorship through sanctions and diplomacy.

Trump said the isolation could be achieved by denying Tehran funds to continue sponsoring terrorism. The Tuesday morning speech at U.N. headquarters in New York City also touched on improving relations with North Korea and the escalating trade war with China.

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The overarching theme for Trump's speech was "America first," a theme he's repeated throughout his presidency.

"America will never apologize for protecting its citizens," he said.

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For Iran, Trump reinforced his decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear treaty and reimpose sanctions on the country -- and said there will be more sanctions to punish the regime.

"Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction," Trump said in his address. "They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.

"The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran's treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy and looted the people's religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war."

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The next round of sanctions go into effect Nov. 5, limiting Iran's crude oil exports. The sanctions have already caused turmoil in oil markets and led some analysts to predict $100 a barrel crude oil.

"We are working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially," Trump said.

Trump spoke second in a long list of world leaders set to address the assembly Tuesday. He spoke after Brazilian President Michel Temer.

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Regarding trade, Trump promised he would renegotiate broken and bad trade deals, adding that the U.S. opened its markets to other countries for too long.

"Other countries did not grant us fair and reciprocal access to their market in return," he said. "Even worse, some countries abused their openness to dump their products, subsidize their goods, target our industries and manipulate their currencies to gain unfair advantage over our country."

Trump said the bad policies helped create an $800 billion U.S. trade deficit.

"Those days are over. We will no longer tolerate such abuse," Trump added. "We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated and our wealth to be plundered and transferred."

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Russia was also a topic of the president's speech, including Moscow's sale of S-300 missiles to Syria.

The president also blasted the U.N. Human Rights Council for ignoring egregious violations while rebuking the United States -- saying that's what led the U.S. administration to withdraw from the council.

"We will not return until real reform is enacted," he said.

Trump also touched on the International Criminal Court, which has come under fire from national security adviser John Bolton for being "contrary to American principles."

"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy." Trump said. "America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism."

At one point in his address, Trump spoke of achievements during his administration -- which drew some laughter from world leaders in the audience.

"In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country," he said.

After the laughter, Trump said, "I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK." He also spoke of achievements in foreign policy, immigration and reforming the U.S. tax code.

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Trump was followed in his address by Ecuador President Lenin Moreno. Others set to speak later Tuesday are Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

All of Tuesday's speeches will be streamed live.

Order of speakers (morning session):
-Brazil President Michael Temer
-U.S. President Donald Trump
-Ecuador President Lenin Moreno Garcés
-Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
-Rwanda President Paul Kagame
-Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto
-France President Emmanuel Macron
-Seychelles President Danny Faure
-Peru President Martin Vizcarra Cornejo
-Jordan King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
-Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al -Thani
-Iran President Hassan Rouhani
-Finland President Sauli Niinistö
-Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari
-Togolese Republic President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé
-South Africa President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa

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