At the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the US, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France will meet with Iran at the ministerial level amid heightened concerns about the Gulf state’s nuclear capabilities.

In his debut appearance at the annual meeting, US president Donald Trump accused Iran of exporting “violence, bloodshed and chaos”.

Trump said:

We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilising activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.

He also made reference to the Iran Deal of 2015, when Tehran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for less severe economic sanctions.

The deal was brokered with Iran by the US, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France.

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.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu  agreed with Trump’s assessment of Iran:

Imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the reins of a vast Iranian empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on Earth.

“Change it, or cancel it. Fix it, or nix it,” he added, saying the most important change was to eliminate the “sunset” clauses, which set expiration dates on the limits imposed on Iran’s nuclear program.

A multilateral approach to Iran

However, French president Emmanuel Macron countered Trump’s remarks in his own address, saying that the nuclear deal with Iran was “essential for peace,” labelling its opponents “irresponsible.”

He added that working together to achieve common goals is the best way to overcome global challenges.

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Multilateralism is the most efficient way to face global challenges. It is the realization of a vision of the world that protects us.

“That president Trump thinks that this [Iran] agreement is not perfect and doesn’t protect enough is an argument that I can hear, but I asked him what was his alternative proposal. I didn’t understand it,” Macron later told reporters.

Iran’s response

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s lead negotiator for the nuclear agreement, critisised Trump’s UN General Assembly address on Twitter.

He said:

Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times — not the 21st Century UN — unworthy of a reply.

What now?

The Trump administration has until 15 October to decide whether or not to confirm that Iran is complying with the 2015 Nuclear Deal.

If the answer is no, then US Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose the sanctions on Iran that had been waived under the deal.