Pence to focus on US Iran policy in speech

Pence to focus on US Iran policy in speech
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence will focus on the U.S.’s Iran policy in a speech next Monday after tensions between the countries intensified over the killing of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a White House official told Reuters

The vice president’s speech at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ National Security Summit in Washington next week will discuss the differences between the Iranian people and the Iranian government, the official told the news wire, declining to give further details.

The speech comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE’s authorized killing of Soleimani has sparked protests across the Middle East and prompted Iran to say it will retaliate. Soleimani was killed in a U.S. strike last week that hit the Baghdad airport.

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Trump has responded to Iran by saying that if Iran retaliates, the U.S. has prepared to strike 52 sites, including some “important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” leading Iran and others to accuse the U.S. of attempting to violate international law forbidding attacks on cultural sites. 

Officials like Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing Democrats subpoena top aides to Pompeo MORE and Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Democrats demand Esper explicitly ban Confederate flag and allow Pride, Native Nations flags Trump's revenge — pulling troops from Germany — will be costly MORE have backtracked on Trump’s comments saying the U.S. will follow international law in potential future attacks.

Pence supported Trump’s move to attack Soleimani in a tweet Friday, saying he “took decisive action and stood up against the leading state sponsor of terror to take out an evil man who was responsible for killing thousands of Americans.”

 

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been high, especially after Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal last year and imposed sanctions on the country.