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Donald Trump threatens Iran with 'stronger than ever' sanctions; French president Emmanuel Macron criticises strategy

United Nations: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to impose sanctions that are "stronger than ever" on Iran, while his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, demanded a "long-term strategy" to deal with Iran's nuclear programme that not only focuses on economic restrictions.

File image of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. AP

File image of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. AP

Trump — chairing the UN Security Council session — once again called the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and other world powers a "horrible, one-sided deal (that) allowed Iran to continue its path toward a (nuclear) bomb and gave the regime a cash lifeline when they needed it the most."

In August, the Trump administration re-imposed a number of economic sanctions on Iran and will impose new sanctions on Tehran's oil sales in November, and — the US leader said — "will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before, to counter the entire range of Iran's malign conduct," EFE reported. "Any individual or entity who fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences," he was quoted as saying.

The US announced in May that it was withdrawing from the nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2015, along with France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Germany, and in August Washington once again imposed certain sanctions that had been lifted as per the pact.

In November a new round of sanctions will enter into force, penalizing various countries and companies that buy Iranian oil or negotiate with Tehran's central bank in what is anticipated to be a heavy blow to Iran's battered economy.

Macron spoke after Trump at the Security Council session, saying that although the 2015 nuclear pact is not perfect, it constitutes a "decisive step," and he criticised the US sanctions. "We need to build together a long-term strategy to manage the crisis that cannot be reduced to a policy of sanctions and containment of Iran," said Macron.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also expressed her commitment to preserving the nuclear deal, which she called "the best way" to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The session was focused on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but Trump took advantage of the forum to denounce Iran and accuse it of exporting "violence, terror and turmoil" to the Middle East and elsewhere. He said that such a regime must never be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.

Trump did thank Russia, Iran and Syria for following his advice — he claimed — and "substantially slowing down their attack on Idlib province," the last bastion of forces opposed to Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime, but he went on to say "Get the terrorists, but I hope the restraint continues. The world is watching."


Updated Date: Sep 27, 2018 09:07 AM