JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked America for its revamped policy regarding the Iranian nuclear deal and the regime's state sponsorship of terrorism following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's address in Washington.
Pompeo articulated those points in his first major policy speech addressing the "major changes" Iran must make to lift economic sanctions and work toward restoring full diplomatic relations.
Speaking Monday at a Foreign Ministry reception honoring Paraguay's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Netanyahu called the Trump administration's decision not only the "right policy," but the "only policy" that will make a difference in the region and in the world.
"No enrichment, tough sanctions, and Iran should get out of Syria," Netanyahu said. "We believe it's the only policy that can ultimately guarantee peace."
Netanyahu praised President Trump for making "fundamental changes" to existing policy on Iran's nuclear program.
"Iran doesn't need centrifuges for enrichment," he said. "If Iran wanted to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, they wouldn't need to hide their nuclear archives."
Netanyahu was referring to the "treasure trove" of nuclear documentation on Iran's secret atomic archive ferreted from Tehran by the Mossad, Israel's secret service, last month, which he shared in a dramatic presentation.
"Iran did not destroy the archives; Iran hid the archives, lied about it, moved it from place to place because they're seeking nuclear weapons and conquest," Netanyahu said. "The American position prevents them from having nuclear weapons and breaks the cash machine they were using to fund their conquest of the Middle East. Thank you, America! This is the right policy."
Netanyahu urged every nation "to follow America's lead" by confronting Iran's aggressive and clandestine nuclear program, as well as its worldwide sponsorship of terrorism in such countries as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
"Iran must leave Syria," Netanyahu said. "Those who want to stop the Iranian aggression and promote peace should oppose Iran and support the American position. This is what Israel is doing."
In his address, Pompeo outlined 12 comprehensive steps Iran must take to lift reinstated – and reportedly tougher – economic sanctions, saying noncompliance would only intensify the consequences.
"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the region does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran," the secretary of state warned, saying "the Iranian regime should know this is just the beginning."
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