Trump heads to the UN focused on Iran and his political base

CNN | : President Donald Trump and his senior officials head to the United Nations’ annual gathering of world leaders this week focused on a narrow agenda that reflects domestic political concerns, the foreign policy challenge posed by Iran and — by design or default — a continued disconnect with many traditional US allies on the issue of climate change.

When world leaders gather Monday to focus on the UN Climate Action Summit, the US is sending a lower level State Department official who will not speak, leaving the US silent on an issue that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called “a direct existential threat” to the world.

Instead, the President will lead an event on religious freedom, an issue that plays to evangelicals who make up part of the political base he is relying on to win re-election. Trump and his Japanese counterpart are also expected to announce an agreement on trade. The President leveraged voters’ economic anxiety during his campaign, regularly rails against “unfair” trade arrangements and touts the benefits of bilateral pacts that give the US the upper hand.

The furor over reports Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son during a call earlier this summer is also likely to overshadow the President’s week, especially on Wednesday when he is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

‘An attack on everyone’

And while Trump and his administration have been openly skeptical of the value of international organizations and the UN in particular, this year they will be focused on lobbying the world community to join their push to bring Iran under control — an effort that could be an uphill battle, some analysts say.

The United Nations General Assembly is taking place in the wake of an attack on Saudi oil facilities that Yemen-based Houthi rebels, locked in an ongoing war with Saudi Arabia and its allies for control of the country, say they carried out. Iran has denied responsibility, but the Trump administration insists that is where the blame belongs.

Over the next few days, the Trump administration will stress that point to the audience gathered in New York and emphasize that the victim wasn’t just Saudi Arabia, but the international community. The strikes, attributed to a flotilla of drones and missiles, hit the world’s largest oil processing plant and an oil field and sent global oil prices soaring.
“It’s important to remember the attack on the Saudi facility is an attack on everyone,” a White House official said in a call with reporters on the administration’s plans for the UN.

‘I always like a coalition’

Skeptical allies

‘We all pray’

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2019/09/22/trump-heads-to-the-un-focused-on-iran-and-his-political-base/

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