Trump Takes Anti-Iran Campaign to UN Security Council

AFP - US President Donald Trump takes his campaign to isolate Iran to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, chairing for the first time a meeting that will lay bare divisions between Washington and key allies.

Trump will be wielding the gavel at the top UN body, where the United States this month holds the agenda-setting presidency of the 15-nation council that deals with the world's most pressing security threats.

Trump's appearance in the formal setting of the Security Council chamber could trigger surprises. UN diplomats note that the US president has been known to stray from protocol and procedure.

During his address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump assailed Iran's leaders, accusing them of sowing "chaos, death and destruction" and calling on world governments to isolate Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shot back in his speech, denouncing leaders who have "xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition" and slamming the planned council meeting as a "preposterous and abnormal act."

Meanwhile, Trump's national security advisor John Bolton warned Tehran of "hell to pay" if it threatens the US or its allies.

"If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive; yes, there will indeed be hell to pay," he said, speaking at a gathering hosted by the group United Against a Nuclear Iran, held on the margins of the General Assembly.

"Let my message today be clear: we are watching, and we will come after you."

Wednesday's meeting will show a rift between the United States and its European allies over the Iran nuclear deal that Trump ditched in May after repeatedly dismissing it as disastrous.

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