The FINANCIAL -- U.S. President Donald Trump will chair a UN Security Council meeting on Iran this month during the annual gathering of world leaders in New York, to spotlight his grievances against Tehran.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the move late on September 4 as the United States assumed the rotating presidency of the council, where it has pushed unsuccessfully in the past year for punitive measures against Iran.
Haley and Trump have repeatedly attacked Iran, accusing it of meddling in the wars in Syria and Yemen and violating the spirit of its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which Trump abandonned in May.
Haley told reporters at the UN that Trump decided to chair the council meeting on September 26 so he could "address Iran's violations of international law and the general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region."
Iran is subject to a UN arms embargo and other restrictions imposed by the council, and Washington has repeatedly alleged that it is violating the embargo by providing arms to its allies in Yemen.
Iran has denied supporting terrorism or supplying weapons to Yemen's Huthi rebels, and it has adamantly rejected U.S. demands that it stop making and testing ballistic missiles, which Tehran maintains are needed for its defense.
Diplomats said Iran could request to speak at the meeting Trump is chairing during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly. Iranian President Hassan Rohani is expected to address the assembly one day before the meeting, on September 25.
Haley said the United States would not object to Rohani speaking at the meeting. The Iranian UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Haley denied the United States, by seeking to galvinize international pressure on Iran, was seeking "regime change." She claimed the U.S. effort was aimed at supporting the desires of the "Iranian people."
Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said the Iran meeting should focus on the implementation of the nuclear agreement, which Russia, China, and European powers are all honoring despite the U.S. withdrawal.
In February, Russia vetoed a U.S.-led effort in the council to reprimand Tehran for failing to prevent its weapons from falling into the hands of Yemen's Huthi rebels, a charge that Tehran denies.