U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to intensify sanctions on Iran, as hopes dimmed among world leaders gathered at the United Nations for a breakthrough in reducing tensions.
The leaders of France, Germany and Japan and Pakistan were all meeting separately with Trump and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, fanning speculation that the pair — whose nations have been arch-enemies for four decades — could have a historic encounter in New York.
But in a speech full of praise of unilateralism and criticism of China, Trump made clear he would not ease economic pressure on Iran — a condition set by Rouhani for any meeting.
“As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened,” Trump told the General Assembly.
Trump denounced Iran for an attack earlier this month on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure — a day after European powers agreed with U.S. findings that Iran was to blame.
“All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” Trump said.