Trump’s SOTU address: I stand with ‘courageous struggle’ of Iranian protesters
US President Donald Trump threw Washington’s weight behind Iranians protesting against their own government on Tuesday, as part of his high-profile State of the Union address.
“When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent,” he declared, in implicit criticism of his predecessor’s cautious response to a 2009 protest movement.
“America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom,” he said, to applause from assembled lawmakers.
The following is further excerpts from Trump’s address.
Trump also announced he would keep Guantanamo Bay open, breaking from his predecessor Barack Obama’s lengthy failed efforts to shutter the maligned detention facility.
“So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay,” Trump said.
Trump warned that the North Korean regime is very close to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that could threaten American cities.
“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening,” Trump said.
China and Russia
Trump declared that China and Russia threaten American values, confirming Washington’s pivot to great power rivalry as the core of its national security policy.
“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values,” Trump said.
“In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.”
Trump urged Americans to move beyond the angry partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans in his State of the Union address to Congress.
“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” he said.
Trump called for a $1.5 trillion investment plan to renew the country’s creaking transport infrastructure, in his State of the Union address.
“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land,” he told Congress. “And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.”
(With AFP and Reuters)