Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, meeting in New York on Monday, discussed the two leaders’ shared aim of “countering Iran’s malign influence in the region,” the White House said.
Trump and Netanyahu have previously bonded over mistrust toward Iran. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump denounced the landmark 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers as a terrible deal. Netanyahu had lobbied vehemently against the agreement, irritating the then-Obama administration by using a speech to both houses of Congress to make his case.
But Trump has softened his stance somewhat since taking office. Over the summer, his administration grudgingly declared that Tehran was in technical compliance with the accord, but that determination must be made every three months and is next due in mid-October.
With his eye on domestic politics, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to New York this week hoping to return home with a promise that the U.S. president will attempt to “modify” the 2015 deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program, Israeli sources said.
Netanyahu was also hoping to avoid the subject of peace talks with the Palestinians.
But the Israeli and American leaders seemed to come to their meeting Monday in New York, their third encounter this year, with different agendas.
Ahead of President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly this week, more than 70 top European officials signed a statement urging the United States to re-certify that Iran is in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
The agreement, reached between Iran and six world powers, allows Iran to enrich uranium for use in energy production, but seeks to limit its ability to develop nuclear weapons. In exchange for allowing international inspections, Iran saw some sanctions lifted.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors the deal, said last month that Iran was continuing to satisfy its obligations.
The day after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York to join world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, the U.N. demanded the release of an Iranian American businessman and his father, who are being detained in Iran.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention--an independent body of five members appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council-- found Monday that 45-year-old Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father, Baquer Namazi, are being held illegally in Iran and urged the government to immediately release them.
"The deprivation of liberty of Mr. Siamak Namazi and Mr. Mohammed Baquer Namazi... is arbitrary," the Working Group concluded in its report. "The appropriate remedy would be to release [them] immediately and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations..."
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday touted steps the state has taken toward a healthier climate, but warned that powerful forces he called “climate deniers” are resisting technologies and policies designed to improve conditions.
“I like all the optimism around here, but I don’t want to minimize the steep hill that we have to climb,” Brown said at the start of a gathering of international leaders called Climate Week NYC. “Decarbonizing the economy when the economy depends so totally on carbon is not child’s play. It’s quite daunting.”
Hosted by the Climate Group, an international nonprofit organization that works with business and government to promote clean technologies and policies, the event was scheduled to bring together high-profile governors, Fortune 500 companies and multinational businesses for a week to share their strategies and leadership in tackling climate change.
With President Trump's disdain for the 2015 agreement on limiting Iran's nuclear program threatening the pact's survival, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is likely to focus much of his time at the U.N. General Assembly this week with one main goal in mind: defending the controversial agreement.
Rouhani, who began his second term as president in May, was largely responsible for spearheading negotiations in 2015 with the United States and other world powers that led Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t be attending this year’s United Nations General Assembly meeting because of a scheduling conflict. Instead, he’s overseeing a massive joint military exercise with neighboring Belarus that has the West, particularly NATO countries, nervous with speculation about so many Russian soldiers along their borders.
In Putin’s absence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will speak Thursday. Among the topics Russia will likely want to address are North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and what Moscow sees as a growing sentiment of Russophobia in the West — which the Kremlin see as led by the United States.
Lavrov met this week with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a lead-up to the annual U.N. meeting. They discussed the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, according to Russian news reports.
It’s been two years since the United Nations adopted 17 goals aimed at fighting poverty and inequality, protecting the environment and fostering peace.
The target year for achieving those goals is 2030, but that’s little time, given the scope of the agenda, and experts note formidable obstacles stand in the way of achieving these “sustainable development goals,” or SDGs.
“We had the SDG agreements in 2015. Everybody felt very good,” said Homi Kharas, co-director in the global economy and development program at the Brookings Institution.
President Trump takes to the world’s largest stage this week. And many onstage are worried.
Trump will deliver his first address Tuesday to the full United Nations General Assembly, an annual meeting that draws diplomats and leaders from 193 countries.
Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping are coming this year. That gives even more running room to a celebrity president who has shaken global institutions with his “America first” policy and whom diplomats politely describe as unpredictable.