Obama Scolds Iran: Chanting 'Death to America' Does Not Create Jobs

September 28, 2015

President Obama chided Iran for focusing on violent rhetoric rather than doing work to advance its economic interests during his speech Monday before the United Nations General Assembly, saying that "chanting ‘death to America’ does not create jobs or make Iran more secure."

"That path is now available to a nation like Iran, which, as of this moment, continues to deploy violent proxies to advance its interests," Obama said. "These efforts may appear to give Iran leverage in disputes with neighbors, but they fuel sectarian conflict that endangers the entire region and isolates Iran from the promise of trade and commerce. The Iranian people have a proud history and are filled with extraordinary potential, but chanting ‘death to America" does not create jobs or make Iran more secure.

"If Iran chooses a different path, that would be good for the security of the region, good for the Iranian people, and good for the world."

Amid nuclear negotiations with Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei and members of Parliament publicly said "death to America," to which the White House responded with a shrug as those statements were intended for a "domestic political audience."

Obama also compared Republicans in opposition to his nuclear deal to hardliners in Iran, suggesting they had "common cause" because they all wanted the agreement to fail. Several Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), announced their opposition to the deal as well, however.