NEW YORK - U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that "the U.S. will forever be a great friend to the world, but we can no longer be taken advantage of" in his first speech to the international body, specifically calling out Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela.
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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."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's speech, saying that "in my more than 30 years at the UN, I have never heard such a brave and clear speech. President Trump told the truth about the world’s lurking dangers, and called for them to be addressed with fortitude, to ensure the future of humanity."
He said that "we seek a de-escalation of the Syrian conflict," adding that the U.S. seeks a political solution that respects the will of the Syrian people.
Trump also slammed North Korea and its "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" saying that it "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life." Trump specifically called out "Rocket Man" Kim Jong-un and his "suicide mission for himself and his nation," saying that "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
He said "it's an embarrassment to the UN that governments that violate human rights sit on the UN human rights council," noting that the U.S. "bears an unfair cost burden" at the UN.
Trump called for a "compassionate" approach to refugees which stipulates resettling them close to home in a "safe, responsible and humanitarian" manner. "For the cost of resettling one refugee in the U.S., we can help 10 in their home region." Trump added that "uncontrolled migration" has hurt both origin and destination countries. He added that "many parts of the world are in conflict and, in fact, going to hell."
Trump also criticized China and Russia, saying that "we must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea," adding that "the scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that reject every principle on which the UN is based." He later praised both countries for voting in favor of tougher sanctions against North Korea.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara joined the Israeli delegation at the UN early to hear Trump's speech, which he opened by saying that "terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread," but said that "our military will soon be the strongest it's ever been."
Trump said that UN members must all "respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation," adding that "we do not expect diverse countries to share the same systems of value.
"In America the people govern, the people rule and the people are sovereign," Trump said, noting that "I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs."
Trump said that "our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations in this great hall," saying that "we want harmony and friendship, not conflicts and strife" and "we are guided by outcomes not ideology." Trump also noted that "if the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph."
Trump also castigated Cuba and Venezuela, saying that socialism has produced "poverty and misery everywhere it has tried" and that "we will not lift sanctions against Cuba until they implement reforms." Trump added that "true socialism and communism are cruel systems that have always brought failure and suffering."