Talking with a bevy of reporters at the Oval Office on Wednesday, President Trump said Iran’s future as a country is in doubt amid public discontent with the Islamic Republic.
At this White House office, Trump said that Iran is in “total turmoil” and “now they are just worrying about their own survival as a country.”
Trump made these comments after a meeting with Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah. Last week, Trump essentially uttered the same sentiments in an interview with Bloomberg news. He told the financial news service that due to the White House’s policy towards the rogue regime, (namely the imposition of sanctions), that the Iranian government ruling force may collapse under the unrelenting pressure being applied.
In last Thursday’s interview with Bloomberg, Trump said, “When I came into here, it was a question of when would they take over the Middle East. Now it’s a question of will they survive. It’s a big difference in one and a half years.”
After issuing promises during his 2015-2016 presidential campaign and with the encouragement of Iran’s adversaries in the region, Trump withdrew the US from participation in the international nuclear accord that former President Obama had forged. In May of this year, Trump accused the Islamic Republic of threatening Middle East security as it expands its regional influence. In August of this year, President Trump reimposed sanctions and Iran’s revenue that emanates from its vital oil industry is in jeopardy as the Islamic Republic is due to face penalties beginning in November.
Moreover, it has been reported that not only has Iranian currency been weakened but inflation has soared significantly. Both of these factors have raised the pressure level on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as he desperately attempts to stave off an economic disaster from bringing his country down.
In a related development, it has been reported that President Trump will chair a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iran this month during the annual gathering of world leaders in New York.
The United States, which holds the council presidency for September, has unsuccessfully pushed the U.N. to add sanctions on Iran. Haley has regularly attacked Iran, accusing it of meddling in the wars in Syria and Yemen.
Diplomats said Iran could request to speak at the September 26 council meeting, the week of the U.N. General Assembly. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to address the assembly on September 25. The Iranian U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During a rare public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the proposed U.S. agenda for the council, Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the Iran meeting should focus on the implementation of a 2015 resolution on Iran.
“We very much hope that there will be views voiced in connection with the U.S. withdrawal” from a 2015 international nuclear deal, Polyanskiy told the council.
Trump in May withdrew from the accord between Iran and six world powers aimed at stalling Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting some sanctions. Trump ordered the reimposition of U.S. sanctions suspended under the deal.
Iran is still subject to a U.N. arms embargo and other restrictions contained in the 2015 resolution, which enshrines the nuclear deal. European powers have been scrambling to salvage the accord.
In February, Russia vetoed a U.S.-led bid for the Security Council to call out Tehran for failing to prevent its weapons from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group, a charge Tehran denies.
Haley arranged Tuesday’s event after several members expressed opposition to her plan to convene a meeting on Wednesday on Nicaragua. Haley said their views should be on record. More than 300 people have been killed and thousands injured in crackdowns by police and armed groups on protests over government plans to cut welfare benefits. The protests developed into broader opposition against President Daniel Ortega.
China, Russia, Bolivia and others said the situation in Nicaragua was not a threat to international peace and security and therefore should not be discussed by the council. The United States has the nine votes required to block a procedural vote expected to be called by Bolivia, diplomats said.