Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence demands European powers withdraw from Iran deal

He said the European mechanism is 'an effort to break American sanctions against Iran's murderous revolutionary regime'

United States Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw. AP
United States Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw. AP

US Vice President Mike Pence demanded European powers withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran on Thursday, saying attempts to continue to trade with the country only aid their interests.

The European trade mechanism, which facilitates payments between Iran and European powers is an "ill-advised step," which only helps Iran and harms relations between the US and Europe, he said at a meeting in Warsaw.

Mr Pence accused European powers of making "an effort 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.

Some 60 nations are gathering in Warsaw for a conference called "Peace and Security in the Middle East", but is primarily focused at curtailing Iran's malevolence in the region.

Tensions between the US and Iran have been heightened since the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – which offered relief of sanctions in exchange for curtailing Iran's nuclear programme.

The other signatories to the JCPOA – China, Russia, the UK, France, Germany and the European Union separately – are still a part of the deal, which allows trade with Iran.

France and Germany, who are still advocating for compliance of the deal, refused to send their top diplomats.

But since the United States has imposed sanctions, facilitating payments between the signatories to the deal and Iran has been made harder as most companies for international payments use dollars as the base currency.

As a solution, European signatories have attempted to design a mechanism to facilitate payments.

Updated: February 14, 2019 04:36 PM

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