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Trump at UNGA denounces Iran's 'blood lust', sends stern message to China

He urged Gulf allies to normalize relations with Israel to provide a regional counterweight to Iran


Donald Trump

US President denounced Iran's "blood lust" and called on other nations to join the United States to pressure Iran after attacks on Saudi oil facilities but said there is a path to peace.

"We want partners, not adversaries," Trump said in an address before world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump also had a stern message for China and its president, Xi Jinping, in what was his third annual appearance at the UN

saying the world is watching how Beijing handles mass demonstrations in Hong Kong that has raised concerns about a potential Chinese crackdown.

"How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the word in the future. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader," he said.

The Sept. 14 attacks in Saudi Arabia have rattled the Middle East and raised concerns about a broader war. Trump has shown restraint in the crisis, holding back from military retaliation, at least for now.

"All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran's blood lust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened," Trump said.

He urged Gulf allies to normalize relations with Israel to provide a regional counterweight to Iran.

With the president looking to improve his standing among Americans as he looks ahead to a tough re-election battle next year, Trump aimed to present a reassuring message to ease voters' concerns about his tendency toward inflammatory rhetoric.

Tehran has been widely blamed for the attacks in Saudi Arabia but it denies involvement. Over the past week, Trump has tightened economic sanctions on Iran and ordered more US troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in a show of support for those US allies in the tense region.

First Published: Tue, September 24 2019. 20:55 IST