President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday lambasted the US “unilateralism”, saying the current US administration has no respect “for almost all” international law and treaties.
“Today, there is an administration in power in the US that has the characters and thoughts of unilateralism,” Rouhani said in Tehran before leaving for New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly.
Rouhani listed a number of accords ditched by the US under President Donald Trump – ranging from trade treaties with allies to its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council and Paris climate agreement.
He once again lashed out at Trump for abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under "delusional excuses," saying the move was in line with the US hostilities toward the Iranian nation.
"America is acting like a bully toward the rest of the world...and thinks it can act based on brute force," said Rouhani.
"Our people will resist and the government has prepared itself for this confrontation," he said, adding "the Americans will regret what they did because they made a very wrong choice".
The nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed with world powers including the US. Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions. But Trump pulled the US out of it in May and restored sanctions on Iran, a move that sparked outcries from other signatories to the deal – France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani hit out at the US for abusing the UN which Trump reportedly plans to use for a series of speeches to push a hard line against Iran.
A year after he shocked his counterparts by threatening to "totally destroy" North Korea in his inaugural UN address, Trump is expected to outline his confrontation with Iran, global trade and his "America first" view of foreign policy.
He is due to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and host a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
White House officials said last week that Trump would focus the meeting on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction. That was until Friday, when the US president tweeted that he would concentrate on Iran.
Trump is expected to raise his plans to back up the controversial exit from JCPOA by telling European counterparts that the nuclear accord is failing, and that European companies are opting to leave Iran to avoid risking their US business ties, according to administration officials.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Trump is willing to meet with Rouhani at the UN General Assembly gathering.
"I think the president's been pretty clear about that. He's happy to talk with folks at any time," Pompeo said. "If there's a constructive dialogue to be had, let's get after it," he added.
But Pompeo expressed skepticism about a breakthrough in discussions between the US and Iran, saying that the Iranians haven't shown a willingness.
Pompeo has been a chief proponent of Trump’s efforts to confront Iran. After announcing a dozen conditions earlier this year that Iran must meet to be considered a “normal” country, Pompeo in August unveiled the creation of an “action group” of US officials to coordinate efforts to increase economic and political pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this story.