“Trump again confirms his ignorance of Iran & region. Everyone knows where he stands; and it’s certainly not with Iranians,” the country’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said in a tweet. “His ‘virtuous’, ‘democratically-elected’ clients in our region may cheer, but not those on receiving end of their tyranny & weapons, incl Yemeni children.”
“When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent,” Trump said Tuesday. “America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iranians will not be swayed by pressure from the West.
“The Iranian nation will never give up Imam Khomeini’s legacy; Islamism and Republicanism. Return is impossible,” he said in remarks broadcast on state television.
“I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal,” he said.
The president also sought an increase in military spending, raising the threat from “rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy and our values.”
That was his only mention of Russia.
And he didn’t raise the issue of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election or special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the interference and whether Trump campaign associates cooperated in the tampering.
China said Trump should discontinue what it calls a “Cold War mentality and zero-sum ideology.”
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying said the two countries should focus on their common interests and not their differences and said the US should view the relationship “correctly.”
There was no reaction from North Korea on Wednesday because news of the speech were not broadcast in the reclusive country and many of the regime’s people probably were unaware Trump was even speaking to the nation.
Trump said President Kim Jong Un’s “reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles” could threaten the United States and “we are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.”
“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies,”he continued.
The parents of Otto Warmbier, the college student who died last June after being released from North Korea in a coma, were Trump’s guests for the speech.