Speaking before the UN General Assembly Tuesday, President Donald Trump proclaimed America's sovereignty while also acknowledging the right of other nations to pursue their own customs, beliefs and traditions.
Hours before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes the same rostrum, Trump denounced the clerical regime as sowing "chaos, death and destruction" and doubled down on the U.S. withdrawal of an worldwide agreement on curbing Tehran's nuclear program. "They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations".
While Trump spoke in sour terms about current relations with Iran, he spoke glowingly of his budding friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump praised Kim as "very open" and "terrific", despite the glacial pace of progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy", he said.
The president slammed the Iran nuclear deal and said he's "committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians" before adding that "America's policy of principled realism means we will not be held hostage to old dogmas, discredited ideologies and so-called experts who have been proven wrong over the years time and time again".
His words were greeted with laughter but he laughed back, saying: "Didn't expect that reaction".
Trump earlier this year withdrew the USA from a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and reinstated economic sanctions.
Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani were attending the annual United Nations event. "Our shared goals must be the de-escalation of military conflict, along with a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people", Trump said.
Skepticism remains about whether Kim has taken any concrete steps, but that seems unlikely to deter Trump from pushing toward a new summit in what he considers a key foreign policy achievement.
Mr Trump said in July he was ready to meet Iran's President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions to negotiate a new deal.
In May, he withdrew the United States from the 2015 global deal to put curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
He threatened to limit USA aid only to countries that are friendly to the United States.
He said that the UN-backed International Criminal Court has "no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority".
Supreme leader Ali Khamenei top aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, delivered the snub after Washington repeated its offer of a meeting.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in NY to attend United Nations meetings. "I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man", Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran's United Nations mission, told Reuters that Iran has not requested a meeting with Trump.
In November, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be reimposed on Iran's oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank. The German foreign minister Heiko Maas was seen smirking when Mr Trump warned Germany about getting too "dependent on Russia".
Trump told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, "The U.S. will not be taken advantage of any longer".