NEW YORK - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly that "Iran vows to destroy my country every day," hours after praising U.S. President Donald Trump's speech as the most courageous speech he has heard in his 30-plus years at the UN.
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Netanyahu said the world must fix or nix the Iran nuclear deal, saying that "I know there are those who still defend the Iran nuclear deal." He said that "this is exactly what they said about the deal with North Korea."
"We must stop Iran's development of ballistic missiles and stop its actions in the region," Netanyahu said. "I have a simple message for the Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khamenei - the light of Israel will never be extinguished." Netanyahu added that "those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in peril."
Netanyahu said that "as long as Iran seeks the destruction of Israel, it will not have a worse enemy than Israel," but said "I have a message to the Iranian people - we are your friends," repeating himself in Farsi.
Netanyahu said that he appreciated Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi's support of peace, adding that "Israel is committed to peace with all Arab states, including the Palestinians."
Netanyahu opened his speech by saying that "we are in the midst of a revolution in Israel's standing in the world," adding that "you may not know this, but your government's do."
Netanyahu said that "in recent years, Israel gave intelligence that prevented terror attacks around the world and saved many lives."
"After 70 years, the world embraces Israel and Israel embraces the world," he said. "Slowly buy surely, there are signs of positive change - even in the UN."
Netanyahu highlighted his trips to six continents, save Antarctica, but joked that "unlike UN bodies, penguins in Antarctica recognize some things are black and white."
In his remarks, Trump slammed Iran for "masking a corrupt government behind the false guise of democracy," adding that it has turned "a wealthy country into a rogue state." He said "we cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles."
Trump called the Iran nuclear deal "an embarrasment to the United States and I don't think you've heard the last of it, believe me," to the Israeli delegation's applause. Trump continued saying that Iran's behavior is in contrast to that of many of its neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia, who vowed to fight terror.
Trump criticized Iran for calling for "death to America" and for "the destruction of Israel," saying that "it is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups," Trump continued, calling out "radical Islamic terrorism." Trump noted that "our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many many years combined" and that "I have totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups."