- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2018

While marking the 35th anniversary of a horrific Hezbollah bombing in Beirut, President Trump thrilled the military crowd in attendance by extolling his crackdown on Iran.

“It was the single deadliest day for the Marines since Iwo Jima. The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, which Iran was instrumental in founding earlier to advance its radical agenda and remains its main patron today. And we are doing a big number on Iran today,” Mr. Trump said at the ceremony in the East Room.

The military commanders in the room cheered and gave the president a sustained applause.

The Oct. 23, 1983 truck bomb attack of a military barracks in Beirut took the lives of three soldiers, 18 sailors and 220 Marines, making it the single deadliest day for the Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

A separate Hezbollah bombing that day killed 58 French paratroopers.

“Thank you very much,” Mr. Trump said when the applause subsided. “I’ll tell you what, they are not the same country they were when I took office.”

Mr. Trump put intense economic pressure on the country by withdrawing in May from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic regime.

“They are rioting in their streets, their money has collapsed, their lives are a lot different,” he said.

Mr. Trump said that Iran’s plans to expand expanding their influence to the Mediterranean Sea when he first took office have been replaced by a struggle to survive.

“It’s a whole different deal,” he said. “No terrorist group other than al Qaeda has more American blood on its hands.”

Mr. Trump said that every service member was a hero who died that day in Beirut in 1983.

“The service members who died that day include brave young Marines just out of high school, accomplished officers in the middle of their military careers and enlisted men who had served in theaters all over the world,” he said. “Each of these heroes died as they lived, as noble warriors.”

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