MIAMI -

The new Israeli ambassador to the United States made an official stop in South Florida on Monday.

Ron Dermer, who was born and raised in Miami Beach, has columnists referring to him as "Bibi's brain" because of his influence on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I was shaped in the United States," he said. "I moved to Israel to help another country that I love fight against some pretty tall odds."

Those odds were more evident over the weekend in attacks near Tel Aviv.

"We are the most threatened nation on Earth. We don't have the margins for error," said Dermer.

During his visit, Dermer also met with Hispanic leaders.

"I spoke to them about the challenges Israel's facing -- preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, about trying to advance a lasting and secure peace," he said. "What I told them is that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is critically important."

The relationship appeared tested in November with President Barack Obama's deal that fell short of demanding destruction of Iran's nuclear program.

"We believe the best way to achieve the common goal -- given the nature of the regime in Tehran -- is to ratchet up the pressure more and more and more and bring Iran to the point where they have to choose between the survival of the regime and the nuclear weapons program," said Dermer.