While addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Donald Trump criticized the “oppressive” Iranian regime as a faux democracy that deserved condemnation for funneling money into activities that undermined Middle Eastern peace:
"The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people.
Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors. This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar Al Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East."
The president portrayed Iran's nuclear program as both a threat to Middle Eastern peace and “an embarrassment to the United States.” “We cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump said.
Trump called on the “entire world” to join the United States in “demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
Before vowing to “stop radical, Islamic terrorism,” Trump noted the “vast military power of the United States,” which he said Iran feared. Iran, according to Trump, feared its people as well and oppressed them to an unsustainable extent:
"The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed, student protesters, and imprison political reformers.
Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth, where their people can be happy and prosperous once again."
After focusing on Iran, Trump addressed the U.S.'s broader approach to the Middle East. Specifically, he touched on the military's new strategy in Afghanistan, gains in the fight against ISIS, Syria's civil war, and humanitarian efforts in areas liberated from ISIS's control.
“The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort,” Trump remarked.