Thank you Wolfgang. You and your entire team have done a wonderful job organizing this important conference. I also want to thank Chancellor Merkel, the German Government, and the German people for their generous hospitality and gracious welcome. For me, visiting Germany feels like coming home. And I know I speak for the entire American delegation when I say we all wish that Senator John McCain, a great advocate for this conference, could join us.
It is a great honor to be here. The Munich Security Conference convenes an unmatched assembly of distinguished leaders and thinkers. For over five decades, this conference has fostered open dialogue, candid debate, and lively discussion about how we might build a more peaceful and prosperous future together. This year, we meet at a critical time for our nations—and indeed for all humanity.
Now is also the time to address serious flaws in the Iran deal and counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its development and proliferation of missiles—and its support for terrorist proxies and militias that fuel destructive conflicts across the greater Middle East. The Iranian regime foments this violence with support from commercial entities affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC—including Mahan Air, which lands right here in Munich Airport.
As a matter of international security and moral conscience, we must stop doing business with IRGC-affiliated interests, encourage the development of a true commercial sector in Iran, and pressure the regime to respect the rights of its people.