President Donald J. Trump spoke Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, giving the keynote speech at the event attended by world leaders, and one petulant climate activist.
He warned of Iranian aggression amid tensions between the United States and the Middle Eastern dictatorship.
“One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran,” Trump said. “The regime’s record of death and destruction is well known to us all. Not only is Iran the world’s number one sponsor of state terror, but Iran’s leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen.”
He then noted that Iran is “squandering” its wealth in its pursuit of building nuclear weapons and the means to deploy them. He said we must never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.
“To stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and missiles, I withdrew the United States from the terrible Iran nuclear deal, which has very little time remaining, did not allow inspection of important sites, and did not cover ballistic missiles,” he said.
He then described the crippling economic sanctions that the United States has levied against Iran, calling them “severe.”
“Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression,” he said. “In response to Iran’s recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund.”
“All nations have a responsibility to act,” he said. “No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s blood lust. As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened. Iran’s leaders will have turned a proud nation into a cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.”
Trump also accused Iran of trafficking in “monstrous anti-Semitism,” which according to a recent UN report, is at as high a level as it has been in modern times.
“Last year, the country’s Supreme Leader stated that Israel is a ‘malignant cancerous tumor that has to be removed and eradicated, and it is possible that it will happen,’” Trump said. “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate. Fanatics of long-used hatred of Israel distract from their own failures. Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries in the region share common interest in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity.”
Trump then called for “full normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors, noting that religious tolerance is the only way towards peace in the region.
He ended the speech on a decidedly positive note, and one that looks towards an optimistic future in the region.
“It’s time for Iran’s leaders to finally put the people of Iran first,” he said. “America is ready to embrace friendship for all who genuinely seek peace and respect. Many of America’s closest friends of today were once our greatest foes. The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries.”