LONDON: It's time for the United States' European partners to “stop undermining” sanctions on Iran, US Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.
Speaking right after Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the 2015 Iran deal, Pence said: “The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining US sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime” by continuing to offer economic incentives in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear capability. He said Europe should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal “and join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region and the world the peace, security and freedom they deserve.”
Pence also called Iran “the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and it seeks the means to achieve it, Pence, who also visited the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, told delegates.
Pence said: “The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people, our allies and friends in the region. The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”
The comments came after Merkel said she shared concerns about many Iranian efforts to grow its power in the region. While she said the split with the US over the nuclear agreement “depresses me very much,” she defended it as an important channel to Tehran.
“I see the ballistic missile program, I see Iran in Yemen and above all I see Iran in Syria,” she said.
Pence also vowed that the US would “hunt down” Daesh even after pulling its troops out of Syria, where the terrorists are facing the loss of their final scrap of land.
“The United States will continue to work with all our allies to hunt down the remnants of Daesh wherever and whenever they rear their ugly heads,” Pence said.
Meanwhile, US-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Daesh’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat.
Jiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had cornered the remaining militants in a neighborhood of Baghouz village near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides. “In the coming few days, in a very short time, we will spread the good tidings to the world of the military end of Daesh,” he said.
(With AP & Reuters)