WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump has vowed not to allow Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
“We cannot let the world’s leading sponsor of terror, a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel all the time with annihilation and constantly screams out death to Israel, to possess the deadliest weapon on earth. We will not allow that to happen,” the US President told a select Jewish audience on Thursday at the White House reception for Hanukkah.
His administration has imposed some of the toughest sanctions on Iran, which among other things ask countries like India and China to cut off import of oil from Iran. Both the countries have significantly reduced their oil intake since then.
Trump told the Jewish community that the US now has “left the horrible Iran nuclear” deal.
“It was a horrible, horrible deal. Should have never been made and imposed the toughest-ever sanction. We sanctioned Iran like I guess few have ever been sanctioned before. We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb,” he said. A year ago, he said, the United States recognised the true capital of Israel.
Commemorating the miracle of Hanukkah, Trump said throughout history, Jewish people have suffered unthinkable repression and terrible violence.
“Yet in the face of this hardship, the Jewish people have endured, overcome and thrived like few that I can tell you. Thrived,” he said.
“Five weeks ago, our nation mourned a horrific tragedy. Jewish-Americans were brutally killed in a sinister anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and we went to see what had happened and to meet some of the people and they were incredible people,” Trump said.
“The way they stood up so bravely, so proudly was just something very incredible to see, and the rabbi was just a great person. In the aftermath of that wicked assault, we reaffirmed our solemn duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs,” the president said amid an applause.
“We must stamp out this vile hatred from the world,” Trump said as he invited eight survivors of the Nazi Holocaust: Sara Censor, Bertha Einhorn, David Einhorn, Ethel Flam, Gita Landau, Dolly Rabinowitz, Ruth Salamon and Zahava Ungar. Trump told the survivors that they inspired the world with their courage.
Trump applauded Jewish people for building Israel into a “mighty and majestic nation”. He also pledged his administration’s support to Israel.
During his speech, the audience started chanting “four more years!” Someone in the crowd noted that once the math is completed from this date, it would be “six more years”. Trump expressed his agreement with the 2 + 4 equation. “I’ve actually never heard ‘four more years,'” he said.
“That’s an interesting one. … We’ll go for six, and then we’ll all be in very good shape.” The president claimed he was told that renovating what now is the US embassy in Jerusalem could cost as little as USD 200,000, which he said was “too cheap”. So he told his officials to do it for USD 400,000, Trump added.