UNITED NATIONS – Iran's foreign minister sharply criticized President Donald Trump Wednesday for abusing the U.S. presidency of the Security Council this month by holding a meeting on Iran's international activities during the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. in late September.
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Mohammad Javad Zarif was responding in a tweet to U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley's announcement Tuesday that Trump will chair a meeting to address "violations of international law and general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region."
She accused Iran of supporting terrorism and destabilizing activities in Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.
Zarif tweeted that Trump "plans to abuse presidency of SC to divert a session — item devoted to Palestine for 70 yrs — to blame Iran for horrors US & clients have unleashed across M.E. (Middle East)."
He also accused Trump of violating a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution, number 2231, that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The president withdrew the United States from the nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers in May.
Zarif said "@realDonaldTrump is violating it & bullying others to do same."
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Under Security Council rules, Iran can speak at the Sept. 26 meeting that Trump will chair, but Zarif and Iran's U.N. Mission did not indicate whether it would participate. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to attend the General Assembly's ministerial session, along with Zarif.
The mission said in a press release that despite the fact that Iran is in compliance with all its nuclear obligations under the 2015 deal according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, "the U.S. not only unilaterally and unlawfully withdrew from the accord, but also now openly invites all U.N. member states to either violate or ignore resolution 2231 or face punishment."
The mission called Israel's occupation of Palestine "the main cause of all conflicts in the Middle East" and accused the U.S., Israel's most important supporter, of rendering the Security Council "ineffective in discharging its duty to end the illegal occupation."
Iran called the Sept. 26 council meeting "a further attempt by the U.S. to divert attention away from Israeli brutalities and to remove the issue from the council agenda; however, such actions are doomed to fail."
Answering U.S. criticism of "the so-called destabilizing role of Iran in the region," the Iranian mission called the United States "a menace to Middle Eastern security with its destabilizing, unilateralist policies and military interventions based on false claims."
It pointed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, its presence in Afghanistan, "the illegal occupation" of nearly one-third of Syria, and its part in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen, which has been accused of killing civilians.
The mission noted that Iran was in "the forefront" of defeating the Islamic State extremist group which it claimed was created and supported by the U.S. and its regional allies.