Macron: US policy of sanctions won’t work
Zarif says US 'abused' UNSC
US President Donald Trump was pushed to the corner at the UN Security Council on Wednesday as member states blasted him for leaving the Iran nuclear deal.
As chairman of a session of the top UN body, Trump denounced the "horrible, one-sided" nuclear deal with Iran that he ditched in May, to the dismay of European allies. Trump vowed that reimposed sanctions will be "in full force" and urged world powers to work with the United States to confront Iran.
Trump justified his decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal by saying that the accord allowed Iran "to continue its path toward a bomb" and gave Iran a "cash lifeline when they needed it the most".
But the session laid bare divisions between Washington and key allies.
Addressing the council after Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron hit back, declaring that concerns about Iran cannot be reduced to "a policy of sanctions and containment" that was in place for years before the landmark deal.
"We need to build together a long-term strategy to manage the crisis that cannot be reduced to a policy of sanctions and containment of Iran," said Macron.
“We need to have the space for new negotiations," he said.
Macron said a "serious crisis of confidence" has emerged after the US withdrawal.
British Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the US for leaving the deal, known as the JCPOA, saying despite Washington’s pullout, Tehran continued to live up to all its commitment under the agreement.
Wednesday's meeting highlighted a rift between the United States and its European allies over the Iran nuclear deal.
On Monday, the five remaining parties to the agreement – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – defiantly announced that they would set up a special payment system to continue trade and business ties with Iran.
Heading into the council meeting, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said European Union governments will "stand up" for the nuclear deal and suggested the US approach would fail.
US 'abused' Security Council
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a Twitter post Wednesday that the United States “abused” the UN Security Council and is “further isolated”.
“Once again, the US abused the UNSC only to find itself further isolated in its violation of #JCPOA and SC resolution 2231. When will it learn its lesson?” Zarif tweeted.
Also addressing the Security Council, Bolivian leader Evo Morales launched a blistering critique of US policy toward Iran as well as Trump’s immigration policies that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents.
Morales strongly denounced the US pullout and the restoration of sanctions on Iran.
He accused the US of supporting dictators around the world and said Washington had backed a totalitarian regime in Iran for years.
‘Legitimate’ rights to trade
In his statement before the UN Security Council, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi defended the Iran nuclear deal, praising it as an "achievement of multilateralism".
"There is no international agreement that is perfect. The JCPOA has been unanimously endorsed by the Security Council. What happened in the past three years shows the JCPOA is a viable agreement," he said.
Wang urged Iran to "continue to fulfill" its commitment to the deal, adding that "legitimate rights" of other countries to trade with Iran "should be respected".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said the US withdrawal creates a "serious threat," adding that Russia is convinced that JCPOA needs to be kept, in order to avoid escalated tensions in the Middle East which could increase the risk of instability.
AFP, AP and Al Jazeera contributed to this story.