United States President Donald Trump defended his decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and branded the Islamic Republic “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, JNS reported.
“The radical regime in Iran is a radical regime, they do bad, bad things,” said Trump in front of a joint session of Congress. “To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.”
The President observed that “last fall we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on us by a country,” adding, “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants ‘death to America’ and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Trump’s criticism accusing the U.S. of supporting “dictators, butchers and extremists” in the Middle East, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.
Iran has denied that it seeks to build nuclear weapons, saying its programs are peaceful in nature. However, a paper published in January by the Institute of Science and International Security concluded that Iran was likely developing or attempting to develop nuclear warheads, based on information learned from the documents that Israel recovered from Iran’s hidden nuclear archive last year.
The U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord last May and began reimposing sanctions on Iran at the start of August, with further sanctions on the country’s finance and energy sectors introduced in November.
In his speech, Trump also sought to highlight the threat posed by rising levels of anti-Semitism. Three months after the killing of 11 Jewish worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue by a neo-Nazi gunman, the President vowed: “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism or those who spread its venomous creed. One voice must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”
“SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight. Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil,” Trump continued.
He also hailed the role played by U.S. soldiers in liberating Europe from Nazism. “Here with us tonight are three of those heroes: Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik. Gentlemen, we salute you,” Trump said.
In the most emotional moment of the speech, Holocaust survivor Joshua Kaufman, a former inmate in the Dachau concentration camp, was reunited with Sergeant Zeitchick, who was part of the U.S. command that liberated the camp in April 1945.
[Photo: Washington Post / YouTube ]