US President Donald Trump appealed to the international community to respond to Iran’s escalating aggression and warned Iran's leadership during an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Trump described the “repressive” regime in Iran as “one of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations” and called on Tehran to put the Iranian people first.
“After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran’s leaders to step forward and stop threatening countries and focus on building up their own country,” said Trump.
Trump called on other countries to follow the US in taking action against Iran.
“In response to Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund. All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” said Trump.
Trump blamed Iran for the September 14 attacks on key oil installations in Saudi Arabia, an accusation Tehran has denied.
“If Iran were behind this attack, nothing would have been left of this refinery,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York on Monday.
US intelligence shows that the attack originated from Iran and the Arab Coalition’s preliminary findings showed the weapons were made by Iran.
Zarif also said he had no reason to believe Yemen’s Houthis were lying when they claimed responsibility for the attack that knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and damaged the world’s biggest crude processing plant.
Britain, Germany, and France, joined the US on Monday in blaming Iran for the attack.
“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation,” the three governments said in a joint statement.
The European leaders urged Tehran to agree to new talks with world powers on its nuclear and missile programs and regional security issues.
“The time has come for Iran to accept a long term negotiation framework for its nuclear program, as well as regional security issues, which include its missile programs,” the three leaders said.
Iran blasted the European accusations over the attacks as “ridiculous” and said it has ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with the powers.
The Trump administration has implemented economic sanctions on Iran to pressure the country to give up its nuclear program and halt its support for terrorist and proxy organizations across the Middle East.
Trump announced new sanctions on Iran’s central bank on Friday, describing the measures as “the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country” by the US.
Zarif said the announcement “closed the door to negotiations.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is expected to propose a new Hormuz Peace Initiative, a regional cooperation plan purportedly focused on non-intervention and non-aggression, to the UN this week.
Both Trump and Rouhani have said that no meeting between the leaders is on the agenda for the UNGA.