Vice President Pence on Thursday called on the European Union to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, accusing the bloc of trying to undermine U.S. pressure on Tehran's nuclear missile programs while saying Iran is trying to bring about “another Holocaust.”
“Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as cooperative. In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions,” Pence said in Warsaw during a conference on the Middle East organized by the U.S., according to Reuters.
Efforts to increase trade with Iran was “an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime,” he added. “It is an ill-advised step that will only strengthen Iran, weaken the EU and create still more distance between Europe and the United States.”
Iran has long been a main adversary of the Trump administration, with Pence suggesting Thursday that Tehran seeks to bring about "another Holocaust."
President Trump, a longtime opponent of the nuclear deal former President Obama signed with Iran and several other world powers, withdrew the U.S. from the pact last year, saying it did not address other issues such as Tehran’s support for militant groups in the Middle East and its missile program.
“It’s not just a compliance issue,” Pence added. “It’s that the [Iran] deal was no good.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also attended the conference, added that Iran must be confronted to “achieve peace and security” in the Middle East.
Pompeo highlighted Iran’s focus at the summit, saying the meeting “unites the United States, Israel, many countries in the world, many countries in the region, Arab countries, against Iran’s aggressive policy, its aggression, its desire to conquer the Middle East and destroy Israel.”
Iran was a large focus of the Warsaw summit, with over 60 nations sending delegates. However, major European powers such as France and Germany did not send representatives, citing their disagreement over the U.S. stance on Iran, according to USA Today.
Tehran had previously denounced the conference as an American anti-Iran “circus.” It maintains that it is still in compliance with the nuclear pact, but has continued to test missiles in the face of U.S. criticism.