Tensions Between US and Iran Continue at UN




We ran the numbers: There are 2770 news articles covering this topic. 58% (1597) are left leaning, 26% (710) center, 17% (463) right leaning.

This week, scores of world leaders are preparing to meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The assembly comes during a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, and the relations between the two countries are expected to remain frosty during the meetings. President Trump has previously expressed interest in meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; however, he has since returned to a position of tough economic sanctions against the country. The US announced new sanctions against Iran on Friday.  Tensions between the US and Iran began to escalate in May 2018 when Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal. They were further augmented during the weekend of September 14, when two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia were attacked with drones, causing massive damage to the country’s oil infrastructure. The attack has been attributed to Iran, although they deny responsibility.

A left-leaning article from the Washington Post analyses the relationship between the two countries and predicts that they will have little interaction during the UN General Assembly. The article notes that Trump has said that he does not plan to meet with Rouhani during the General Assembly. The Post reports Trump as saying “Nothing is ever off the table completely, but I have no intention of meeting with Iran, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’m a very flexible person.” The article also remarks that Trump has taken a softer line toward Iran than many of his advisers; for example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed his strong opposition to any friendliness between the countries.

Right-leaning sources tend to note that Rouhani hopes to gain support for Iran in the UN meetings and to resist US sanctions. However, a right-leaning article from Fox News on the UN General Assembly made little mention of Iran. Instead, the article considers the idea that the US is isolated at the UN. The article focuses on a new State Department report that “shows that the world body is out of sync with U.S. interests in more than two-thirds of votes -- likely raising further concerns within the Trump administration about the organization and America's financial commitment to it.” The article lists the ten countries whose voting records are most out-of-sync with the US as well as the amount of US aid they received in 2018; Iran is listed tenth on the list and received “less than $1million” in US aid last year.

The centrist outlet NPR published an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif. In the interview, conducted on the Sunday before the General Assembly began, Zarif said that Iran will not bow to economic pressure from the United States. The article ends by noting the pervasiveness of the conflict between the US and Iran: “On Twitter last week, Zarif accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of trying to "dodge" issuing visas for the Iranian delegation to attend the U.N. General Assembly. As the United Nations host country, the U.S. is obligated to issue visas for official U.N. business. Both Zarif and Rouhani were issued visas on Thursday.”