President Donald Trump has lashed out at Iran, with national security adviser John Bolton also warning there would be “hell to pay” if Tehran crossed the US.
Speeches by the president before the UN General Assembly and by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mr Bolton at a New York City hotel marked an escalation of rhetoric.
Mr Trump blasted what he called Iran’s “corrupt dictatorship” and accused its leaders of enriching themselves through embezzlement and raiding state coffers to spread “mayhem”.
Mr Trump also vowed to continue to isolate Iran through US sanctions that are being re-instated following his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. The next round of sanctions will take effect in early November.
He later predicted that the pressure from renewed sanctions would force Iran back to the table to negotiate.
“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” the president told the UN General Assembly in a 34-minute speech that was more critical of Iran than any other country.
“They do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.”
In an even more fiery to a group opposed to the Iran deal, Mr Bolton went further.
“If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay,” he said.
“The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behaviour. Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you.”
Daily Mail, 26 September 2018