Trump calls on world to stand up to ‘Iran’s bloodlust’

Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, speaks to the media ahead of his address at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Updated 25 September 2019

Trump calls on world to stand up to ‘Iran’s bloodlust’

  • Trump’s address comes after the US blamed Iran for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia
  • Emmanuel Macron says he hoped there could be progress on Iran after talks with Rouhani

NEW YORK: Donald Trump on Tuesday called on nations around the world to tighten the economic noose around Iran’s economy, saying no country should support Iran's “blood lust.”

“All nations have a duty to act,” the US president told the United Nations General Assembly. 

“No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s blood lust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.”

Trump’s address comes after the US blamed Iran for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that temporarily halted half the Kingdom’s production.

The US president said that in response to the attacks on the Saudi Aramco  plants, the US had imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fun.

Nevertheless, Trump offered hope to Iran if its leaders changed their destabilizing conduct.

“America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace,” he said. “America is ready to embrace friendship to all who genuinely seek peace and respect.

“The US has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries.”

Before Trump spoke, thousands of Iranian-Americans mounted their largest demonstration so far in a week of protests outside the UN building. They heard speeches by former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani and former senators Joe Lieberman and Robert Torricelli, and a video message from Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

“Following the recent attack by the clerical regime from inside Iran against Saudi oil infrastructure using missiles and drones, the real question facing the international community is no longer about who conducted the attack but rather the imperative to advance a complete policy of decisiveness and firmness against this regime,” Rajavi said. 

“There is a direct correlation between the regime’s fear of being overthrown, and its terrorism and warmongering. The regime is surrounded by a disenchanted population who are firmly convinced that their liberation will not be possible without the mullahs’ overthrow. The days of their religious fascism are numbered.  Iran will be free.”

Further protests are expected on Wednesday when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the General Assembly.

The world “should not be fooled” by false gestures of goodwill from Iran’s representatives, Dr. Majid Sadeghpour, political director of the Organization of Iranian American Communities, told Arab News.

 “No amount of economic and political concessions can moderate the behavior of this medieval regime,” he said. “The mullahs understand only the language of power and firmness. Maximum pressure must be applied to help the Iranian people free themselves.

“We will continue protesting until the Iranian regime is held responsible for its atrocities against the people of Iran.”

Earlier, Iran hit back after Germany, the UK and France said Tehran was responsible for the Aramco attacks.

“These allegations, which lack evidence, are based solely on a ridiculous rationale that 'there is no other possible explanation’,” Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped there could be progress on Iran in the coming hours after he held direct and frank talks with President Hassan Rouhani on Monday evening to try to find common ground.

“We have to get back around the table to have a frank and demanding discussion on the nuclear activity, Iran's regional activities, the ballistic missile program, but also to have a larger approach on what sanctions are,” Macron told reporters, without elaborating. “I hope we will be able to make progress in the coming hours.”

(With Reuters)

Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

Updated 23 February 2020

Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to Libyan eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday they had killed 16 Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, a day after Turkey acknowledged it had lost several "martyrs" in combat in the north African country.
Khalid al-Mahjoub, a spokesman for Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA), said the Turks were killed in the port city of Misrata, in battles in Tripoli and in the town of al-Falah south of the capital.
Turkey backs Libya's weak internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has sent Syrian soldiers along with some of its own soldiers and weapons.
Haftar's forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday acknowleged some Turkish losses in Libya's "struggle".
"We are there (in Libya) with our (Turkish) soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralized nearly a hundred (of Haftar's) legionaries," Erdogan said.
The Syrian National Army, also known as Free Syrian Army, is a Turkey-backed Syrian rebel group fighting against pro-Damascus forces in northern Syria, where 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed so far this month.
The deployment of Turkish soldiers and sophisticated air defences has erased small gains made by the LNA with the help of Russian mercenaries, returning the frontline roughly to where it was at start of Haftar's campaign in April 2019.
Ceasefire talks between Libya's warring sides resumed on Thursday after the GNA had pulled out of negotiations following the shelling of Tripoli's port by Haftar's forces.