U.S. President Donald Trump has defended U.S. sanctions against Iran and called on all nations to act against Tehran and not "subsidize Iran's bloodlust."
Speaking at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday September 24, Trump said that the sanctions will not be lifted as long as Iran does not change its "menacing behavior."
“As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened,” Trump said.
He called the Iranian regime "repressive" and "a security threat," facing peace-loving nations.
Trump charged that Iranian leaders have plundered the nation's wealth and spent it on "fuelling the tragic wars in Syria and Yemen."
However, at the end of his remarks about Iran, Trump said that going to war was easy but it takes courage to make peace, adding that the United States "has no permanent enemies."
Regardless of Trump's comments about Iran, French President Emmanuel Macron still reassured reporters in New York Tuesday afternoon about a possible breakthrough between Tehran and Washington, Iranian media reported.
The September 14 attack on Saudi Arabi, which the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Western European countries have blamed on Iran, has escalated the tensions in the region to a new level. However. Iran denies any involvement.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers by which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for an easing of sanctions.
Following the pull-out from the deal, the United States re-imposed sanctions on Tehran and Iran began reducing some of its commitments under the nuclear accord.
In a related development, UN Chief Antonio Guterres pointed out "the alarming possibility" of a conflict in the Persian Gulf as a result of rising tensions in the region.
Meanwhile, describing the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia as "unacceptable," Guterres urged world leaders gathered at the UN headquarters in New York to use "reason and restraint" in the Middle East.
During Monday and Tuesday, Iran and the EU-3, Germany, UK and France have been sending each other mixed messages.
French President Macron held a rather long meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani upon his arrival in New York on Monday September 23. Macron has been trying over the past few weeks to broker a deal between Iran and the United States.
Very little news came out of the meeting other than they discussed bilateral ties and how to save the 2015 nuclear deal and that Rouhani briefed Macron on the details of his regional security proposal, a plan that leaves out the United States and involves the UN in the Persian Gulf developments.
The meeting was held a short while after the leaders of the EU trio blamed Iran for last week's attack on Saudi oil establishments in clear show of support for the Unite States' position.
"The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery," a joint statement by Britain, France and Germany said.
In Tehran, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami on Tuesday accused the three leaders of "lying" and "making baseless comments." Meanwhile, Assembly of Experts Chairman Ahmad Jannati, warned Rouhani and Zarif, without naming them, not to hold talks with U.S. officials.
It is interesting to see that like the United States, Europe is once again insisting on including Iran's missile program in possible talks in the future. This is a serious signal that without real concessions Iran will not be able to win over any European support for sanctions relief, as it has been trying to achieve in the past one year.