On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a 42-minute address to the annual gathering of world leaders in the General Assembly of the United Nations. His past statements on the world body have been a mix of ignorance and hostility; his scripted address was described in a Guardian editorial as "bluster and belligerence." Another columnist noted that Trump's tone channeled past U.N. speeches by Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez more than any previous U.S. president.

In a speech on Sept. 5 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, Trump's U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, alleged a number of grave breaches by Iran of matters that are quite extraneous to the nuclear deal. As noted by the staunch realist Stephen Walt of Harvard University, among others, her mendacious case was based on falsehoods, half-truths and innuendos. A day earlier, Haley said in the U.N. Security Council that North Korea is "begging for war." In his own U.N. speech. Trump similarly connected the dots between the "reckless" and "rogue regimes" of Iran and North Korea "that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based."

Trump demonized Iran as "a corrupt dictatorship ... (and a) rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos." Reprising familiar attacks, he belittled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions" that Washington has "ever entered into" and "an embarrassment to the United States." He insisted that "we cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program." In his parallel universe, while he attacked Iran for exporting terrorism, Saudi Arabia was praised as a responsible ally in the war against terrorism and Islamist extremism.