Thursday 25 April 2019

Tehran is planning for a 'new Holocaust', says Pence

US vice president Mike Pence
US vice president Mike Pence

Samuel Osborne

Iran is planning a "new Holocaust" to destroy Israel, US Vice President Mike Pence claimed at a summit on Middle Eastern security.

"The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it," he told delegates at the conference, which was co-hosted by the US and Poland in Warsaw.

Mr Pence used his speech to encourage sceptical allies into joining an anti-Iran alliance, which includes Israel and Arabian Peninsula monarchies.

"Leaders from across the region agreed that the greatest threat to peace and security of the Middle East is the Islamic Republic of Iran," Mr Pence said. "They've supported terrorist proxies and militias. The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world."

Mr Pence went on to demand European countries abandon the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated with Iran by former US president Barack Obama.

He criticised European nations for recently announcing an EU financial mechanism to continue trade with Iran. "Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as co-operative," Mr Pence said. "In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions."

Last year Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Iran deal, under which Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.

However, Britain, France and Germany, along with the rest of the EU, continue to support the nuclear deal as the best way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Mr Pence called on Europe to follow Washington and exit the agreement: "The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join with us."

He said a new European scheme to trade with Iran, known as the Special Purpose Vehicle, was "an effort to break US sanctions against Iran's murderous ...regime".

Both the UN's atomic watchdog and Mr Trump's own intelligence chiefs have said Iran remains in compliance with the agreement despite the US withdrawal. Iran was not invited to the Warsaw conference and called the event a "circus" aimed at "demonising" the country. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News