On January 22, Vice President Mike Pence pledged that the United States would never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and that it will “no longer tolerate Iran’s support of terrorism, or its brutal attempts to suppress its own people.” In an address to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Pence called the nuclear deal a “disaster” and said Washington will no longer certify the agreement. All Israeli ministers reportedly stood up and applauded that remark. The following are excerpts from Pence’s speech on Iran.
REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE
As we work to defeat the scourge of terrorism, and give aid to those who have suffered at its hands, we must also be resolved and vigilant to prevent old adversaries from gaining any new ground.
To that end, the United States will continue to work with Israel, and with nations across the world, to confront the leading state sponsor of terror -- the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As the world has seen once again, the brutal regime in Iran is merely a brutal dictatorship that seeks to dominate its citizens and deny them of their most fundamental rights. History has proven, those who dominate their own people rarely stop there. And increasingly, we see Iran seeking to dominate the wider Arab world.
That dangerous regime sows chaos across the region. Last year alone, even as its citizens cried out for help with basic necessities, Iran devoted more than $4 billion to malign activities in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere across the region. It has supported terrorist groups that even now sit on Israel’s doorstep. And worst of all, the Iranian regime has pursued a clandestine nuclear program, and at this very hour is developing advanced ballistic missiles.
Two-and-a-half years ago, the previous administration in America signed a deal with Iran that merely delays the day when that regime can acquire a nuclear weapon. The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement.
At President Trump's direction, we're working to enact effective and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Earlier this month, the President waived sanctions on Iran to give the Congress and our European allies time to pass stronger measures. But as President Trump made clear, this is the last time.
Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed, President Trump has said the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.
Whatever the outcome of those negotiations, today I have a solemn promise to Israel, to all the Middle East, and to the world: The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Beyond the nuclear deal, we will also no longer tolerate Iran’s support of terrorism, or its brutal attempts to suppress its own people.
Last year, our administration more than tripled the number of sanctions targeting Iran and its leaders. And just this month, the United States issued tough new sanctions on Iran.
But I have another message today -- a better message -- from the people of America to the proud and great people of Iran: We are your friends, and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes. And when your day of liberation finally comes, we say to the good people of Iran, the friendship between our peoples will blossom once again.
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