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Trump attacks globalism while trying to rally support for Iran response

The US president implored the world’s leaders to prioritise their own nations.

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Jonathan Lemire and Deb Riechmann, Associated Press

Donald Trump has delivered a roaring defence of nationalism and American sovereignty as he addressed the UN General Assembly – even as he tried to rally a multinational response to Iran’s escalating aggression.

The US president implored the world’s leaders to prioritise their own nations, with strong borders and one-on-one trade deals, rejecting sweeping transnational organisations and alliances.

“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to strong, independent nations,” he told a murmuring crowd at the General Assembly in New York.

“Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders, causing them to ignore their own national interests. Those days are over.”

The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, co-operation and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America's interests Donald Trump

Focusing on US self-interest, he said the nation’s security was jeopardised by the threat posed by Iran and warned Tehran to stop its aggression towards Washington’s allies in the Middle East.

“As long as Iran’s menacing behaviour continues sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened,” Mr Trump warned.

“The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, co-operation and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”

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Donald Trump addresses the General Assembly (Evan Vucci/AP)

As speculation mounted that he could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York, Mr Trump raised the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough, saying: “The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries.”

While he wants allies to join the US in further isolating Iran, he also seems to be holding to his go-it-alone strategy of using economic sanctions to pressure Tehran to give up its nuclear programme and stop attacks that are rattling the Middle East.

Britain, France and Germany joined the US on Monday in blaming Iran for recent strikes against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pointed to claims of responsibility by Yemeni rebels and insisted: “If Iran were behind this attack, nothing would have been left of this refinery.”

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(PA Graphics)

Mr Trump also addressed the ongoing stand-off in Venezuela, denouncing the oppressive regime and vowing that the US would “never be a socialist nation”.

The US and more than a dozen Latin American countries agreed on Monday to investigate and arrest associates and senior officials of the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro who are suspected of crimes like drug trafficking, money laundering and financing terrorism.

Mr Trump also praised his own diplomatic efforts with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even though the autocrat continues to hold a tight grip on his nuclear weapons.

The US president has met Mr Kim for summits in Singapore and Vietnam, and orchestrated a surprise encounter with him in June at the Korean demilitarised zone, where he became the first US president to set foot in North Korea.

Mr Trump said on Monday that another meeting with the North Korean leader “could happen soon”. He provided few details, and it was not clear what officials were doing behind the scenes to set up a meeting to break the diplomatic impasse over the North’s development of nuclear-armed missiles targeting the US mainland.

PA

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