Two of the most prominent targets of Donald Trump’s maiden UN speech, Iran and Venezuela, have responded to the US president’s condemnations with some of their own, arguing that Washington continues to be a destabilizing influence.
“Trump’s shameless and ignorant remarks, in which he ignored Iran’s fight against terrorism, display his lack of knowledge and unawareness,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, according to the official Fars news agency.
Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors” and uses its oil wealth to “shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.”
In turn, Zarif accused Washington of supporting “tyrannical regimes” in the region, and “the criminal Zionist state.”
Trump also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded in 2015 by Tehran and leading world powers as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
Zarif, who personally signed the document that restricts Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a loosening of international sanctions, said the JCPOA was “non-negotiable,” despite the US leader promising, “You’ve not heard the last of it.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has condemned what he called “aggression from the new Hitler of international politics, Mr. Donald Trump, against the people of Venezuela.”
Trump, who dedicated several minutes of his speech to the South American country, said that “the socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country,” and warned that in addition to sanctions, Washington was “prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.”
“Nobody threatens Venezuela and nobody owns Venezuela,” Maduro said in a speech in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. “Donald Trump today threatened the president of the Bolivarian Republican of Venezuela with death.”