America’s other great strategic rival, Russia, went unmentioned by Mr. Trump, except for a reference to what he described as Germany’s dependence on Russian energy. That was also Mr. Trump’s only mention of Germany, a staunch ally, though he praised its neighbor, Poland, which has an increasingly autocratic government, for its construction of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea to diversify its energy supply.
After his speech, Mr. Trump took credit for a change in Iran’s behavior since he withdrew from the nuclear deal. He claimed, without evidence, that Iran had abandoned its ambitions to build a land bridge to the Mediterranean Sea. At some point, he predicted, the United States and Iran would have “meaningful negotiations and probably do a deal.”
“Iran is a much different country today than it was a year ago,” he said before meeting Colombia’s president, Iván Duque Márquez. “They have riots in the street. They have horrible inflation, the worst in the world. Their currency is a disaster. Everything in Iran is failing right now.”
Aside from Iran, Venezuela drew Mr. Trump’s harshest critique. He described the political tumult roiling the country as a “human tragedy” and said the United States would impose new sanctions on the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Socialism, he said, had squandered Venezuela’s oil resources and “driven its people into abject poverty.”
Mr. Trump spoke of the great potential of the United Nations, but expressed little regard for any other international bodies. The United States, he said, had rightfully exited the Human Rights Council, refused to take part in the Global Compact on Migration or to recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court, which has recently considered investigating the conduct of American troops in Afghanistan.
The president singled out India, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Poland as worthy partners: nations that he said had distinctive traditions and cultures, patriotic societies and a fierce commitment to independence.
“Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured or peace has ever prospered,” Mr. Trump declared. “And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”