THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Dr. Fridman, my friend, Howard Kohr, to Ambassador David Friedman — (applause) — members of the United States Congress, Israeli ministers, members of the Knesset, distinguished guests. To all who have come, from near and far, it is great to be back at AIPAC — the largest and most influential gathering of the friends of Israel in the United States of America. (Applause.)
The President promised to take the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms, on their soil. And thanks to the courage of our armed forces, and the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will not relent until we drive this menace from the face of the Earth. (Applause.)
He promised to stand up to the leading state sponsor of terror. President Trump announced in October of last year the United States of America will no longer certify the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. (Applause.)
As I said, we’ve made great progress in the fight against ISIS. We’ve liberated nearly all the territory once held by those barbarians, and we have beaten them on the battlefield time and again. But as the enemy retreats, we must be vigilant. We must be vigilant to prevent others from taking its place. And let me assure you tonight: We will not allow the defeat of ISIS to become a victory for Iran. (Applause.)
Iran hopes to recreate the ancient Persian Empire under the modern dictatorship of the ayatollahs. As we speak, that regime seeks to carve out a corridor of influence running through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, creating an unbroken passage for its armies and its ideology. Last year alone, Iran spent more than $4 billion to achieve its ends. And at this very hour, it aids and abets terrorist groups that sit on Israel’s doorstep and fire rockets at her people.
In just the past month, the mounting Iranian menace has been laid bare for all to see. The Iranian drone that breached Israel’s borders in February was a brazen act of aggression. But Israel’s swift and strong response sent a warning to Iran across the region that dangerous provocations will not go unchecked by Israel, America, or our allies. (Applause.)
But the danger posed by Iran extends much further than its support of terrorism. As we all know, that regime continues to develop advanced ballistic missiles that can threaten every square inch of Israeli soil and the lives of all her citizens. And the disastrous nuclear deal signed by the last administration did not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It merely delayed the day when that vile regime can gain access to the world’s most deadly weapons.
President Trump has called on the Congress and our European allies to enact real and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. Earlier this year, the President waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act.
But make no mistake about it: This is their last chance. (Applause.) Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. (Applause.)
Whatever the outcome of those discussions, today I have a solemn promise to you, to Israel, and to the wider world: The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)