Taking to the stage at the United Nations General Assembly, Donald Trump stood for Israel — aligning himself with the Jewish state while lambasting Israel’s greatest threat. The Times of Israel’s Eric Cortellessa reports that Trump not only called on sanctions on the Islamic Republic to be tightened, but for Israel’s Mideast neighbors to normalize relations with her:
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“Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries of the region share common interest in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity,” Trump said. “That is why it’s so important to have full normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors.”
He continued, “Only a relationship built on common interest, mutual respect, and religious tolerance can forge a better future.”
In a highly anticipated address before the international community — as tensions with Iran intensified after it allegedly attacked two Saudi oil facilities — Trump insisted that he would maintain his “maximum pressure campaign” against Tehran.
Iran, he said, was on a “fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.” The world, Trump continued, “must never allow this to happen.”
After the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed harsh sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Trump said, the regime has “escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression.”
“All nations have a duty to act,” Trump said. “No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust. As long as Iran’s illicit behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened…”
Trump also used the forum of world leaders to argue that Iran’s hatred of Israel was rooted in its leaders’ dysfunction.
“For 40 years, the world has listened to Iran’s rulers as they lash out on everyone else for the problems they alone have created,” he said. “Last year, the country’s supreme leader stated that Israel is ‘a malignant cancerous tumor that has to be removed and eradicated. It is possible, and it will happen.’”
After a pause for effect, Trump continued, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate. Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures…”