Vice President Mike Pence said during an address to the European and Middle East leaders on Thursday that Iran is seeking a “new holocaust” in order to eliminate Israel, according to The Daily Mail.
The vice president denounced the initiative that is supported by France, Germany, and Britain that would allow European businesses to continue operations in Iran despite U.S. sanctions designed to discourage Iran’s nuclear plans.
“It’s an ill-advised step that will only strengthen Iran, weaken the EU and creates still more distance between Europe and the United States,” Pence said.
“The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join with 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,” he said.
Vice President Pence also vowed to exert maximum pressure on the middle eastern nation but did not explicitly urging regime change.
“As Iran’s economy continues to plummet, as the people of Iran take to the streets, freedom-loving nations must stand together and hold the Iranian regime accountable for the evil and violence it has inflicted on its people, on the region and the wider world,” he said.
Pence also vowed that the United States “will get tougher still” with sanctions unless Iran “changes it’s dangerous and destabilizing behavior.”
However, the vice president’s most stern rebuke was for Iran’s participation in terrorism, calling them “the leading state sponsor of terror in the world.”
“Iran endlessly spews hatred against Israel, our most cherished ally,” Pence said. “The Ayatollah Khamenei himself has said, ‘It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.’”
Pence’s speech came just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that “confronting Iran” is a necessary step to “achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.”
“The three H’s — the Houthis, Hamas, and Hezbollah — these are real threats … you can’t get peace in the Middle East without pushing back against Iran,” Pompeo said.”