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Trump Pushes His Destructive Iran Policy at the U.N.

Aside from being laughed at [1] by the audience, Trump achieved very little in his speech [2] to the U.N. General Assembly today. The president talked a lot about the importance of sovereignty, and then called on the rest of the world to gang up on Iran to infringe on their sovereignty. It is nothing new for hard-liners to treat the sovereignty of their country as sacrosanct at the same time that they routinely violate the sovereignty of other states, but Trump made a point of boasting about this double standard before the entire world.

There was also the usual hypocritical denunciation [3] of Iranian behavior that we have come to expect in these speeches:

“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.

Other governments would have more reason to use those descriptions for the behavior of our government in the Middle East over the last thirty years. Iran has pursued destructive policies during the same period, but the same could be said of several U.S. clients as well. Trump refers to Iran’s “agenda of aggression and expansion,” which would much more accurately describe the actions of the Saudis and Emiratis. The president had the gall to praise the Saudis and Emiratis for their humanitarian assistance to Yemen when it is their U.S.-backed bombing campaign and blockade that created the catastrophe that threatens to claim millions of lives. Trump ignores the latter because the U.S. is aiding and abetting the coalition in its war crimes and shares responsibility for creating the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. The Saudi coalition’s leaders and our political leaders are just as guilty of sowing death and destruction, and in Yemen they are doing so on a massive scale.

Trump asserted that “so many countries in the Middle East strongly supported at my decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose nuclear sanctions,” but in fact only a handful of countries including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE supported this decision. Almost all other countries in the region and the world consider the reimposition of nuclear sanctions to be illegitimate and unjustified because Iran continues to be comply with the JCPOA. Many of Iran’s immediate neighbors are being negatively affected by the sanctions.

Iraq desperately needs to be exempted [4] from these sanctions because its economy is intertwined [5] with that of its neighbor. Trump’s decision is not popular [6] there, and the sanctions [7] are already causing [8] hardship. The same is true for Afghanistan [9]. Turkey has made it clear [10] that they won’t go along with the U.S. effort to cut off Iran’s oil exports.

The reimposition of sanctions not only hurts the Iranian people, but imposes significant costs on the populations of neighboring countries as well. Trump’s Iran policy is inflicting harm on the entire region, and it is stoking greater resentment against the U.S. It is Trump’s effort to strangle Iran’s economy that threatens and harms Iran’s neighbors more than anything that Iran is currently doing.

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7 Comments To "Trump Pushes His Destructive Iran Policy at the U.N."

#1 Comment By Jay C On September 25, 2018 @ 2:23 pm

Aren’t the other signatories to the JCPOA already trying to create some sort of workaround to circumvent Trump’s obsessive sanctions regime? Some sort of new payment system which will let Iran sell its oil anyway?

#2 Comment By Daniel Larison On September 25, 2018 @ 2:33 pm

Yes, yesterday the other parties to the agreement announced the creation of a payment channel to do just that.


#3 Comment By Clyde Schechter On September 25, 2018 @ 4:01 pm

“Yes, yesterday the other parties to the agreement announced the creation of a payment channel to do just that.


This is huge! I’ve been saying, here, repeatedly, since the pullout from the JCPOA that this is what should happen. Good for them!

But this could really prove disastrous to the US economy. If an alternative international payments system that bypasses the US grows into something more than just a vehicle for buying Iranian oil, it will have the potential to dethrone the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. And if that happens, the stuff will hit the fan on all of our national debt.

#4 Comment By Myron Hudson On September 25, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

Clyde: And once again a same-party President and Congress will have driven the country into a ditch. I just hope the mango mussolini doesn’t manage to convince his followers that it’s all everyone else’s fault.

#5 Comment By Whine Merchant On September 25, 2018 @ 5:14 pm

Clyde wrote: “This is huge! I’ve been saying, here, repeatedly, since the pullout from the JCPOA that this is what should happen. Good for them!”

This is just softening the path for the new, emerging “Global Currency”, the Chinese Yuan.

#6 Comment By Andrew Zook On September 25, 2018 @ 6:40 pm

@ Myron Hudson. What other possibility is there? I’ve assumed for quite some time now that they will never accept responsibility for anything bad coming about because of the actions of their messiah. Most that I know are way too psychologically invested to ever continence the idea that they may have made a bad choice… some may, but I doubt a majority of them will. So Yes, they will absolutely blame it on others. For me, it’s not an if, but when and how they proceed to act on that religious belief. What will they do to take it out on the innocent other instead of facing their own culpability?

#7 Comment By Mark B. On September 25, 2018 @ 7:48 pm

The Iran-policy of the Trump administration is undermining American power, authority and thrustworthiness in a unique way, not seen before. In this sense, it is Chinese and Russian wet dream and a European nightmare.
But hey, the new masters of US foreign policy Israel and saudi-Arabia are happy. Sheldon Adelson, Jared and Ivanka are happy.
So all is well in the land of very special interests. Too bad the interest of the nation itself has become irrelevant in the process.