Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like antisemitism

He said that being in Auschwitz had made him reflect to "strengthen the resolve of the free world to oppose that kind of vile hatred and to confront authoritarian threats of our time."

By REUTERS
February 15, 2019 20:37
1 minute read.
Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like antisemitism

Vice President of the United States Mike Pence departing from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, January 23, 2018.. (photo credit: MATTY STERN, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)

 
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MUNICH, Feb 15 - US Vice President Mike Pence accused Iran on Friday of antisemitism akin to the Nazis following his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland that had strengthened his resolve to act against Tehran.

"We have the regime in Tehran that's breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile antisemitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe," Pence told reporters on Air Force Two before landing in Munich.

He said that being in Auschwitz had made him reflect to "strengthen the resolve of the free world to oppose that kind of vile hatred and to confront authoritarian threats of our time."

In a related development, US Vice President Mike Pence accused Washington's European allies of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran and called on them to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, during the Warsaw ministerial conference on Thursday.

"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.

The US withdrew from the international accord last May. The other signatories, Iran, the European Union, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and China, remain in the deal.

Pence accused the EU of setting up a scheme with Iran "to break American sanctions against Iran's murderous revolutionary regime."

"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," he said.

The Warsaw meeting was attended by more than 60 nations, but major European powers Germany and France, who are members of the 2015 nuclear accord, refused to send their top diplomats.

During his speech, Pence also invoked biblical visions for peace in the Middle East.

"On the foundation of that Abrahamic tradition we can find a firm foundation for all the people of the Middle East," said Pence.

"I think we would do well to look to a promise that was made to that man I referred to who made that journey so many centuries ago."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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