The Daily Update - Trump Vs Rouhani

Ever the shrinking violet, Donald Trump declared in a speech to the UN yesterday that ‘I stand before the United Nations General Assembly to share the extraordinary progress we’ve made. In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country’. He later claimed that the statement was tongue in cheek, however given that he has a history of self-admiration, may we suggest a pinch of salt?

When Trump came to power in 2016, he famously declared that going forward his administration’s policy would be one of ‘America first’. Yesterday he continued to hammer that message home. ‘The United States is the world’s largest giver in the world, by far, of foreign aid. But few give anything to us’ he announced, adding ‘We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart. Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends. And we expect other countries to pay their fair share’. That’s a long way from Barack Obama’s last speech to the UN in 2016, where he called for the world to ‘press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration’.

A good percentage of Trump’s speech was given to chastising regimes in Iran and Venezuela. He attacked Iran’s ‘corrupt dictatorship’ whilst praising his NBF (new best friend) Kim Jong-un. ‘Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction’ he said, adding ‘They do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations’. However the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later also went on the offensive. In his speech he criticized Trump and his decision to withdraw from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran that many other western nations continue to endorse. Questioning Trump’s intelligence, Rouhani said ‘Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength. Rather it is a symptom of the weakness of intellect - it betrays an inability in understanding a complex and interconnected world’.

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