Pence accuses Iran of pursuing ‘another Holocaust,’ lashes out at allies – NBC News

LONDON — Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused Iran of pursuing “another Holocaust” as he lashed out at some of America’s closest allies for trying to undercut U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

“The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it,” Pence told delegates at a U.S.-organized Middle East conference in Poland on Thursday.

In an effort to persuade the world to get on board with Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran, Pence went on to accuse Tehran of trying to recreate the Persian Empire by carving out a “corridor of influence” through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The meeting in Warsaw is being used by the Trump administration to persuade the world to rally against Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year.

Other signatories of the deal — the U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany — have vowed to keep it alive and refused to comply with the Trump administration’s requests that they slap new sanctions on Tehran.

Pence criticized Britain, France and Germany for unveiling a financial mechanism last month that the U.S. believes is meant to keep the nuclear deal alive by evading tough new American sanctions.

“Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as cooperative,” Pence said. “In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions.”

The United Nation’s atomic watchdog and U.S. intelligence chiefs have said Iran is still in compliance with the agreement despite the U.S. withdrawal.

While the administration had hoped to make the meeting a rallying cry for tougher action on Iran, the focus had to be widened and the emphasis on Iran softened after countries balked, three foreign diplomats told NBC News.

In a further rebuff to Washington, while the Warsaw meeting has been attended by more than 60 nations major European powers such as Germany and France refused to send their top diplomats.

Iran has denounced the gathering as an American anti-Iran “circus.” Russia has said it would not attend.


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