Posts Tagged ‘United States’

G7 to focus on foreign fighter fallout from rout of IS

October 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Ella IDE | A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walks through a heavily damaged a street in Raqa, Syria on October 18, 2017

ISCHIA (ITALY) (AFP) – The threat of fresh attacks on the West by foreign fighters fleeing the fallen Islamic State stronghold of Raqa is set to dominate a G7 meeting of interior ministers in Italy.The two-day gathering, which kicks off Thursday on the Italian island of Ischia, comes just days after US-backed forces took full control of the jihadists’ de facto Syrian capital.

Most foreign fighters are believed to have fled over the past few months. Experts say those who stayed are now likely to head for Turkey in the hope of travelling on to Europe to seek revenge for the destruction of the “caliphate”.

Tens of thousands of citizens from Western countries travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the group between 2014 and 2016, including extremists who then returned home and staged attacks that claimed dozens of lives.

France, whose some 1,000 nationals were among the biggest contingent of overseas recruits to join IS, stated frankly this weekend that it would be “for the best” if jihadists die fighting.

While border crossings have since tightened making it more difficult for fighters to return, security experts have warned of renewed possibilities of strikes as the pressure on IS intensifies.

“With an Islamic military defeat in Iraq and Syria we could find ourselves facing a return diaspora of foreign fighters,” Italy’s Interior Minister Marco Minniti told a parliamentary committee last week.

“There are an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 foreign fighters from 100 countries. Some of them have been killed of course, but… it’s possible some of the others will try to return home, to northern Africa and Europe,” he said.

– Catching boats to Europe –

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said a group of 130-150 foreign fighters, including Europeans, had turned themselves in before the end of the battle in Raqa.

Other reports suggested a convoy of foreign fighters had been able to escape the city towards IS-held territory, a claim denied categorically by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) officials.

The SDF is expected to contact the home countries of any foreign fighters it holds, to discuss the possibility of turning them over to face prosecution.

But captured fighters could prove a legal headache, with questions raised over what evidence, collected by whom, would be used in a domestic court. Jihadists also become security risks in jails for their potential to radicalise.

French European lawmaker Arnaud Danjean said Wednesday there would be “negotiations with the countries concerned” over what to do with returners.

Minniti warned fighters could take advantage of the confusion and “use the human trafficking routes” to return home — raising the spectre of extremists embarking on the migrant boats which regularly head to Italy.

It meant controversial efforts currently spearheaded by Italy to close the land and sea trafficking routes which cross Africa into Libya and on across the central Mediterranean sea to Europe were “essential”, he added.

– Intelligence war –

The Seven, from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, will also tackle the hot issue of terrorism online, with analysts warning IS’s loss of territory will turn street-to-street fighting into an intelligence war.

The ministers are due to arrive Thursday afternoon at a medieval castle on the volcanic island off Naples, before retiring for an informal dinner and knuckling down to working sessions on Friday.

They are set to be joined by the EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, European safety commissioner Julian King, and Juergen Stock, secretary general of the international police body Interpol.

In a G7 first, representatives from Internet giants Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter will also be taking part.

by Ella IDE
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Suicide bombers, gunmen attack Afghan police training centre: officials

October 17, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Map of Afghanistan showing Gardez, site of a suicide bombing and gun attack Tuesday

KHOST (AFGHANISTAN) (AFP) – Suicide bombers and gunmen launched an attack on a police training centre in southeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday in the latest violence to rock the war-torn country.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a tweet for the continuing attack in the centre in Gardez, capital of Paktia province which borders Pakistan.

“At first a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the training centre, making way for a number of attackers to start their assault,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

A battle between the attackers, armed with guns and suicide vests, and security forces was under way inside the centre which is located near the Paktia police headquarters, it said.

There was no immediate information about casualties.

A local official said two car bombs blew up near the compound that also houses the provincial headquarters of the national police, border police and Afghan National Army.

“A group of gunmen have entered the compound and fighting is ongoing,” Allah Mir Bahram, a member of the Paktia provincial council, told AFP.

Photos posted on Twitter purportedly show two large plumes of smoke rising above the city, suggesting two bombs were detonated in the assault.

Paktia borders Pakistan’s militancy-plagued tribal areas where the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network has a presence.

The extremist group has been blamed for carrying out spectacular attacks across Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001 and is known for its frequent use of suicide bombers.

It was blamed for the truck bomb deep in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul in May that killed around 150 people.

The Haqqanis have also been accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding kidnapped Westerners for ransom.

That includes recently released Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman, and their three children — all born in captivity — as well as US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was released in 2014.

Late Monday a US drone strike in Pakistan’s Kurram tribal district, part of which borders Paktia, killed at least five Haqqani militants, officials have said.

The latest attacks comes as four-way talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China reportedly are being held in Oman with the aim of ending the Taliban’s 16-year insurgency.

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Philippines president Duterte says he could throw out EU diplomats ‘within 24 hours’ in expletive-filled tirade

October 12, 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Firebrand Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has warned the EU and UN that he could throw out their ambassadors within 24 hours if they continue to “interfere” in his brutal war against drugs.

“You think that we are a bunch of morons here… The ambassadors of those countries learn a lesson now. Because we can have the diplomatic channels cut tomorrow, you leave my country in 24 hours, all of you,” he said during an expletive-filled tirade against colonialism in the capital, Manila.

There has been rising international outrage over a vicious crackdown on drugs users and dealers, launched by Mr Duterte after his rise to power in June 2016.

More than 12,500 Filipinos have been killed in the last year, with almost 4,000 during police operations and many more by masked assassins.

Last month the UK joined 38 other countries at the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC] in Geneva to urge the Philippines to end the killings and allow an international investigation into the deaths. It was slammed by Manila as a “politicised” move.

Duterte appears to have been riled further this week by a suggestion by Human Rights Watch Geneva director, John Fisher, that the Philippines could be kicked out of the UNHRC, and by a visiting mission of European parliamentarians who told him publicly to “stop the killings.”

Filipino relatives mourn on the remains of Ephraim Escudero, who was a victim of extra judicial killing, during burial rites at a cemetery in San Pedro city, Laguna province, Philippines, 30 September 2017
Filipino relatives mourn on the remains of Ephraim Escudero, who was a victim of extra judicial killing, during burial rites at a cemetery in San Pedro city, Laguna province, Philippines, 30 September 2017CREDIT: EPA

“You are interfering in our affairs,” said Mr Duterte in a rambling address to a press conference on Thursday, switching between English, Filipino and Spanish. “We are past the colonisation stage. Don’t f*** with us,” he continued.

“You must have taken the Philippines for granted, saying that we could be excluded,” he said, although no government has called for the Philippines’ exclusion from the UN.

Mr Duterte said the Philippines was angry at the West for “stealing our resources” and denounced the US, UK and France in particular, suggesting that plundering the Middle East had led to modern day terrorism.

“You built your riches, you were ahead in the industrial race of planet earth because you stole the greatest resource of the Arabs – oil,”he said.

“You colonised there, then started to divide the Middle East – the United States, UK, France, and that is why you are paying heavily now with terrorism. May you end up happy for what you have done.”

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Cambodian Opposition Leader Calls for Sanctions on Leadership

October 4, 2017

(Reuters) – An opposition leader who said she fled Cambodia in fear of arrest called on Western donors on Wednesday to impose targeted sanctions on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government to save democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

Mu Sochua, 63, left Cambodia on Tuesday, saying she had been tipped off that she was among the next targets of a crackdown in which opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha was arrested a month ago and charged with treason.

Elections are due next year and the opposition party has accused Hun Sen, 65, of arresting and harassing its leaders and other critics so he can extend over 30 years in power.

“The time for statements has passed. It’s time for sanctions, targeted sanctions. Also suspension of technical aid to the government of Cambodia,” Mu Sochua told Reuters. “Time is up for democracy. How long can the international community wait?”

She was speaking to Reuters in Southeast Asia and requested that the location not be specified because of security concerns. She said last week that around half the CNRP’s members of parliament had fled Cambodia.

 Image result for Mu Sochua, cambodia, photos
Kem Sokha (left) and Mu Sochua (right)

The sanctions could include visa restrictions on top officials, Mu Sochua said, but should not target the exports of garments – mostly to the United States and European Union – on which the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Cambodian workers depend.

Responding to Mu Sochua’s comments, government spokesman Phay Siphan said there was no reason for any country to impose sanctions on Cambodia because it was committed to peace and pluralism and the rule of law.

“This is a sovereign state and it will protect its sovereignty,” he said. He said he could not comment on any potential arrests because that would be a matter for the judiciary.

The Cambodian opposition leader, Kem Sokha, as he was arrested at his home in Phnom Penh. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The government accuses the opposition of planning a revolution to oust Hun Sen, whose rule has spanned Cambodia’s three-decade transformation from a broken state after the Khmer Rouge genocide to one of the region’s fastest growing economies.

Hun Sen has called it a “color revolution”, similar to movements in parts of the Balkans and the former Soviet Union in the 2000s.

Since Kem Sokha’s arrest, Mu Sochua had emerged as his most outspoken deputy. She said she grew worried at the weekend after suspected plain clothes police followed her to rallies in the countryside.

TIP-OFF

Then on Monday, Hun Sen threatened more arrests of opposition leaders. Mu Sochua said a senior government official had sent her a recording of his speech.

“‘I said, is this about me?’ He said ‘yes’. I said ‘Is the arrest going to be this week?’ He said ‘yes’,” said Mu Sochua, who is known internationally for decades of campaigning against sex trafficking and for women’s rights.

Insurrection charges over which she was detained for seven days in 2014 could easily be brought back, she said. The government has not said it planned to charge her.

Mu Sochua said any international moves against Hun Sen should be aimed at preserving democracy.

“When we talk about targeted sanctions we also talk about giving Mr. Hun Sen time to think and to adjust and to give the opposition, civil society, free media space so that the next 10 months will be time to prepare for elections,” she said.

Western countries have condemned the arrest of Kem Sokha and the crackdown on non-governmental organizations, civil rights groups and independent media in the country of 16 million people, but they have not taken any concrete steps.

“What is shocking is how the international community, especially Cambodia’s donors, are essentially giving Hun Sen a free pass at each step of this crackdown,” Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Western donors played an essential part in rebuilding Cambodia after 1991 peace accords to end civil war, but their influence has waned as Cambodia’s economy has strengthened and as China has become its most important ally.

U.S. Senators John McCain and Dick Durbin introduced a resolution on Tuesday that called on the U.S. State and Treasury Departments to consider putting top Cambodian officials on a list that could stop them visiting the United States.

China, by far the biggest donor to Cambodia, has given verbal support to Hun Sen. A former Khmer Rouge commander, he defected from the group and helped to drive it from power in 1979 after the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people.

(Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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Iran’s Zarif urges Europe to defy Trump on sanctions

September 30, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

LONDON (AFP) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that the only way to stop its nuclear deal from collapsing is for Europe to defy any US reimposition of sanctions.

In an interview published Saturday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Zarif said Iran would develop much more advanced nuclear technology — though not for weapons purposes — if Europe followed the United States in returning to a sanctions regime.

“Europe should lead,” he said during an interview in New York.

The deal, agreed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers — the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany — lifts economic sanctions put in place in 2005 in exchange for curbs to Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for verifying that Iran meets the terms of the agreement.

US President Donald Trump has attacked the deal on numerous occasions, vowing to tear it up.

On October 15, Trump is due to testify to Congress whether Tehran is complying with the deal and whether it remains in the United States’ interests to stick by it.

If he decides it is not, it could open the way for US lawmakers to reimpose sanctions, leading to the potential collapse of the agreement.

“I think he has made a policy of being unpredictable, and now he’s turning that into being unreliable as well,” Zarif said.

“My assumption and guess is that he will not certify and then will allow Congress to take the decision.”

He said that if the United States scuppers the deal, the decision would prove counter-productive.

“The deal allowed Iran to continue its research and development. So we have improved our technological base,” he said.

“If we decide to walk away from the deal we would be walking away with better technology. It will always be peaceful… but we will not observe the limitations that were agreed on as part of the bargain.”

Zarif said “walking away” was one of the options being considered by Tehran.

“If Europe and Japan and Russia and China decided to go along with the United States, then I think that will be the end of the deal,” he said.

Washington on Thursday pressed for the IAEA to carry out more nuclear inspections in Iran, warning that failure to do so would make the nuclear deal with Tehran “an empty promise”.

North Korea bolsters defenses, rhetoric escalates — North claims right to shoot down U.S. bombers — “It was the U.S. who first declared war on our country”

September 26, 2017

By Christine KimMichelle Nichols

 Image may contain: 2 people, suit
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho walks to speak to the media outside the Millennium hotel New York, U.S., September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

SEOUL/NEW YORK (Reuters) – North Korea has been boosting defenses on its east coast, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday, after the North said U.S. President Donald Trump had declared war and that it would shoot down U.S. bombers flying near the Korean peninsula.

Tensions have escalated on the Korean peninsula since North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, but the rhetoric has reached a new level in recent days with leaders on both sides exchanging threats and insults.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Trump’s Twitter comments, in which the U.S. leader said Ri and leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer” if they acted on their threats, amounted to a declaration of war and that Pyongyang had the right to take countermeasures.

Yonhap suggested the reclusive North was in fact bolstering its defenses by moving aircraft to its east coast and taking other measures after U.S. bombers flew close to the Korean peninsula at the weekend.

The unverified Yonhap report said the United States appeared to have disclosed the flight route of the bombers intentionally because North Korea seemed to be unaware. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service was unable to confirm the report immediately.

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor

U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft conducting a mission with the South Korean air force over the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 18. PHOTO – STEVEN SCHNEIDER-AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ri said on Monday the North’s right to countermeasures included shooting down U.S. bombers “even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country”.

“The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” he told reporters in New York on Monday, where he had been attending the annual United Nations General Assembly.

“The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then,” he said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders denied on Monday that the United States had declared war, calling the suggestion “absurd”.

RISK OF MISCALCULATION

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew east of North Korea in a show of force after a heated exchange of rhetoric between Trump and Kim over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has been working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, which Trump has said he will never allow.

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in a truce and not a peace treaty.

The Sept. 3 nuclear test prompted a new round of sanctions on North Korea after the Security Council voted unanimously on a resolution condemning the test.

The North says it needs its weapons programs to guard against U.S. invasion and regularly threatens to destroy the United States, South Korea and Japan.

However, the rhetoric has been ratcheted up well beyond normal levels recently, raising fears that a miscalculation by either side could have massive repercussions.

North Korea Says It Has the Right to Shoot Down U.S. 

CREDIT JEWEL SAMAD/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES

Trump’s threat last week to totally destroy North Korea, a country of 26 million people, if it threatened the United States or its allies led to an unprecedented direct statement by Kim in which he called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and said he would tame the U.S. threat with fire.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster defended Trump’s rhetoric and said on Monday he agreed that the risk was that Kim might fail to realize the danger he and his country were facing.

However, McMaster also acknowledged the risks of escalation with any U.S. military option.

“We don’t think there’s an easy military solution to this problem,” said McMaster, who believed any solution would be an international effort.

“There’s not a precision strike that solves the problem. There’s not a military blockade that can solve the problem,” McMaster said.

China, North Korea’s sole major ally and largest trading partner, has called for calm and dialogue, while world leaders such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the only solution to the crisis was a political one.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi said Beijing wanted the situation “to calm down”.

“It’s getting too dangerous and it’s in nobody’s interest,” Liu told Reuters in New York.

Reporting by Christine Kim in SEOUL and Michelle Nichols in NEW YORK; Writing by Paul Tait; Editing by Michael Perry

China tells Japan not to abandon dialogue over North Korea — Russia urges “hot heads” to calm down

September 23, 2017

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Image may contain: 1 person

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – Japan talking only about sanctions on North Korea rather than dialogue will be seen as going against United Nations resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart.

Tensions have continued to rise since North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.

Wang told Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York that the situation on the Korean peninsula was getting increasingly serious and all sides needed to remain calm.

Resuming peace talks was just as much a part of the U.N. resolutions as enforcing sanctions, Wang said, according to a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry late on Friday.

“If the Japanese side only talks about sanctions and does not bring up talks, or even goes against talks, it will be seen as contravening Security Council resolutions,” the ministry cited Wang as saying.

China hoped that Japan talked and acted cautiously and played a constructive role on the nuclear issue, he said.

Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise of tensions over North Korea and, while it too has signed up for the increasingly tough U.N. sanctions, it has also urged a return to talks and for all parties to exercise restraint.

On Friday, Russia urged “hot heads” to calm down as the United States admitted it felt “challenged” by North Korea’s warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Edsiting by Paul Tait

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BEIJING–Japan talking only about sanctions on North Korea rather than dialogue will be seen as going against United Nations resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart.

Tensions have continued to rise since North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.

Wang told Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York that the situation on the Korean peninsula was getting increasingly serious and all sides needed to remain calm.

Resuming peace talks was just as much a part of the U.N. resolutions as enforcing sanctions, Wang said, according to a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry late on Friday.

“If the Japanese side only talks about sanctions and does not bring up talks, or even goes against talks, it will be seen as contravening Security Council resolutions,” the ministry cited Wang as saying.

China hoped that Japan talked and acted cautiously and played a constructive role on the nuclear issue, he said.

Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise of tensions over North Korea and, while it too has signed up for the increasingly tough U.N. sanctions, it has also urged a return to talks and for all parties to exercise restraint.

On Friday, Russia urged “hot heads” to calm down as the United States admitted it felt “challenged” by North Korea’s warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

http://www.cetusnews.com/news/China-tells-Japan-not-to-abandon-dialogue-over-North-Korea.rymW6VrmoW.html

Defying Trump, Iran’s Rouhani vows to pursue missile and defense capabilities

September 22, 2017

The Associated Press

© AFP archive

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-09-22

Iran’s president says his country will press ahead with its missile program and continue to boost military capabilities in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary.

Hassan Rouhani spoke during a military parade on Friday commemorating the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.

He says Iran “will strengthen our defense and military capabilities … whether you want it or not” – a statement directed at the United States and President Donald Trump’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly.

In the speech, Trump accused Iran of supporting terrorists and called Tehran a “corrupt dictatorship” and a “murderous regime.”

Rouhani also said Tehran will keep supporting the “oppressed people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine,” a reference to Iran’s role in wars in Yemen and Syria and its support for Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas.

(AP)

Iran’s Rouhani vows to strengthen missiles despite US criticism

September 22, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Siavosh Ghazi | President Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the “Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”

TEHRAN (AFP) – President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Friday that Iran would boost its ballistic missile capabilities despite criticism from the United States and also France.”Whether you like it or not, we are going to strengthen our military capabilities which are necessary for deterrence,” Rouhani said in a speech marking the anniversary of the outbreak of Iran’s devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

“We will strengthen not only our missiles but also our air, land and sea forces… When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission.”

Criticism by the Donald Trump administration of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, including the United States, has focused heavily on Tehran’s continuing missile programme.

Tehran says that the missiles are entirely legitimate under the terms of the deal as they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

But Washington says they breach the spirit of the agreement as they have the potential to carry a nuclear warhead and has imposed new sanctions over Tehran’s continuing launches and tests.

There has been some sympathy for the US position from France, whose President Emmanuel Macron said the deal could be expanded to ban missile tests and cut a sunset clause in the nuclear agreement that would see Iran resume some uranium enrichment from 2025.

But even he insisted that the core deal not be dumped.

Thus far, the UN nuclear watchdog and the US State Department have reported that Tehran has complied with the terms of the nuclear deal.

But Trump, who this week described the deal as an “embarrassment”, is due to report to the US Congress on October 15 on whether or not he believes that Iran is in compliance.

If, as now appears increasingly likely, he decides that it is not, it could open the way for renewed US sanctions and perhaps the collapse of the agreement.

Trump said on Wednesday he had made his decision but was not yet ready to reveal it.

Washington has also taken aim at what it says is Tehran’s failure to meet expectations that it would play a more stabilising role in the Middle East.

“Regrettably, since the agreement was confirmed we have seen anything but a more peaceful, stable region and this is a real issue,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at the United Nations.

Washington has been particularly concerned about Iran’s heavy intervention in Syria on the side of the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen who control the capital in defiance of its Saudi-backed government.

But Rouhani ruled out any change of policy in the region.

“Whether you like it or not, we are going to defend the oppressed peoples of Yemen, Palestine and Syria,” he said.

by Siavosh Ghazi

Donald Trump took aim at North Korea, terrorism, China and Iran in blunt United Nations speech

September 20, 2017

By Zoe Daniel  — Analysis
ABC News (Australia)

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, beard and closeup

The United Nations General Assembly has been given a double dose of Donald Trump unfiltered.

Yes, the tone was relatively measured, but the language used was characteristically blunt.

It’s something rarely seen in the centre of global diplomacy, and while several people would have helped write the speech there’s no doubt it reflected the President’s core views.

“Our Government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values,” he said, pushing US sovereignty.

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first.”

And then he went on the attack.

“The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based,” Mr Trump told the UN.

First in his sights, North Korea

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Mr Trump said.

Kim Jong Un will struggle to shake this moniker

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

China, and others, got a shake for trading with the regime

“It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict,” Mr Trump said.

The Iran nuclear deal is looking shaky (still)

“We cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Mr Trump said.

The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.

“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.”

The ‘loser terrorists’ were also on the receiving end

“The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the re-emergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people,” Mr Trump said.

Here’s a sign of things to come on refugee policy

“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region,” Mr Trump said.

And the UN itself, never favoured by Mr Trump, was given its own rocket

“In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them,” he said.

“For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council.”

The US, he says, is bearing too much cost for an organisation that’s not returning results:

“The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 per cent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realises,” Mr Trump said.

“The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”

A case in point, Venezuela, where he called for action

“The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch,” the President said.

“I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis.

“We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela.”

The reaction was swift, and equally blunt

From former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton:

In the entire history of the UN, there has never been a more straight forward criticism of the unacceptable behavior of other member states.

From Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.

From North Korea:

North Korea confirms it boycotted Pres. Trump’s speech today – walking out beforehand & leaving behind only a junior diplomat, per @Abs_NBC.

Republicans loved it:

Pres Trump in UN speech put intellectual clarity on his principle that the American President should represent America not global system.

Democrats, not so much. From Senator Dianne Feinstein:

“The goals of the United Nations are to foster peace and promote global co-operation. Today, the President used it as a stage to threaten war.”

And this:

Striking how Trump’s UN speech embraced sovereignty & non-interference right before calling for regime change in Iran, Cuba, & Venezuela.

The UN speech was especially frightening bc it was scripted & presumably vetted. So much for idea Trump is crazy only when he improvises.

And as for the media:

UN speech was a lot of Trump tweets strung together. Saber-rattling. But no clear doctrine. Threats of confrontation around the world.

It was Mr Trump’s first speech to the UN. It won’t be quickly forgotten.

Topics: donald-trumpunrest-conflict-and-warworld-politicsunited-states

 

GlennMerchant

Well said and long overdue. Congratulations for having the intestinal fortitude to call it as it is.

The weed

Trump is full of vague rhetoric; does he include the long suffering population of North Korea in his total destruction?

North Korea’s desire for a nuclear deterrent is understandable after the USA and its allies invaded Iraq on a false assumption of WMD. That lead to the establishment of ISIL and I think the USA has a lot to answer for those actions.

It’s interesting that Trump talks about looking after a nation’s population needs and rights when he chooses to ignore global warming when most people want him to deal with it.

Tedv

Finally some reality check for the UN from the briliant US President. So refreshing that after years of the Obama waffling the reality is clearly presented and the world starts listening.  Well done Mr Trump…

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DavidChambers

Congrats Zoe on reporting as it was. Much better than the vitriol and cynicism in the article by John Barron. Hopefully there will be more reporters/article writers like Zoe who stick to the facts.

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ThathoiLe

I could not believe the US President had such views, which were so childish, idiosyncratic, idiot, bullying, uneducated…… like Trump…. I do not care what Trump talked rubbish, but I DO care & sympathise Americans & their country that spent so much human lives & resources for decades to become The World Leader and now destroyed by Trump what his previous leaders to consolidate the US image…. Trump gives Russia, China a free kick /opportunities to take over US without much fighting & costs. Americans REAP WHAT THEY SOW… God save US

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/donald-trump-un-speech-north-korea-china-iran-nuclear/8962550