(CNSNews.com) - The United Nations General Assembly listened silently on Tuesday, as President Trump told the gathering, "One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran."
The United States "does not seek conflict" with any nation, "but I will never fail to defend America's interests," he said in a pointed message to Iran.
Trump said it's time for Iranian leaders to start focusing on their own people and stop threatening other countries.
But as long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, Trump said, "Sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened."
On the other hand, if Iran changes course and embraces peace, the United States is willing to be a partner: "The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries," Trump said.
Here are his remarks on Iran, as delivered:
One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran.
The regime's record of death and destruction is well-known to us all. Not only is Iran the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism, but Iran's leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen.
At the same time, the regime is squandering the nation's wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and a means to deliver them. We must never allow this to happen. To stop Iran's path to nuclear weapons and missiles, I withdrew the United States from the terrible Iran nuclear deal, which has very little time remaining. It did not allow inspection of important sites and did not cover ballistic missiles.
Following our withdrawal, we have implemented severe economic sanctions on the country. Hoping to free itself from sanctions the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression. And in response to Iran's attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran's central bank and sovereign wealth fund. All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran's blood lust.
As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.
Iran's leaders will have turned a proud nation into just another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.
For 40 years the world has listened to Iran's rulers as they lash out at everyone else for the problems that they alone have created. They conduct ritual chants of 'death to America' and traffic in monstrous anti-Semitism. Last year the country's supreme leader stated Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor that needs to be eradicated. It is possible and it will happen.
America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate. Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures. Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries of the region share common interests in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity.
That is why it is so important to have full normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors. Only a relationship built on common interests, mutual respect and religious tolerance can forge a better future. Iran's citizens deserve a government that cares about reducing poverty, ending corruption, and increasing jobs, not stealing their money to fund and massacre abroad and at home.
After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran's leaders to step forward and to stop threatening other countries and focus on building up their own country. It is time for Iran's leaders to finally put the Iranian people first.
America is ready to embrace friendship with all who genuinely seek peace and respect. Many of America's closest friends today were once our greatest foes. The United States has never believed in permanent enemies. We want partners, not adversaries. America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace.