Pence Renews Iran Deal Threat

Pence Renews Iran Deal ThreatPence Renews Iran Deal Threat

US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated a threat by President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal unless what he says are the shortcomings in the agreement are fixed.

Speaking to the annual policy conference of pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington on Monday, Pence said Trump had signed waivers extending sanctions relief to Iran to give negotiators a chance to fix the pact, but would not do so again.

"Make no mistake about it, this is their last chance. Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately," he was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel.

"The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon."

Iran denies any military dimension to its nuclear program, saying it has always pursued exclusively peaceful purposes.

That program was rolled back in exchange for relief from international sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal, reached between Iran on one side and the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany on the other.

Trump has called the deal "disastrous" and vowed to pull out of it if it is not renegotiated, positions echoed by Pence in his speech.

  Trump-Netanyahu Front

In a relevant development, Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a united front against Iran in White House talks.

Both leaders have long railed against the deal, citing its limited duration and the fact it does not cover Iran's ballistic missile program or its support for anti-Israel resistance groups in the region.

"If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East to both [the US and Israel], to our Arab neighbors, it's encapsulated in one word: Iran," Netanyahu said. "Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge."

Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement unless European allies and the US congress work with his government to help address his concerns.

The White House said in a statement that Trump "underscored his goal of countering Iran's malign influence."

Iran has ruled out a renegotiation of the accord and rejected Trump's excessive demands, which include eliminating the time bound on the limits set by the agreement on Iran's nuclear work and also giving international inspectors access to its military facilities.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints