By AGENCIES and TOI STAFF

US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday demanded that European Union allies follow Washington’s lead in withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and cease efforts he said are designed to evade US sanctions.

Speaking at a Middle East conference in Poland, Pence accused Iran of being the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, adding that it was the “greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East,” and accused the clerical regime of plotting a “new Holocaust” with its regional ambitions.

He lamented that Britain, France and Germany created a special financial mechanism that Washington believes is aimed at “breaking” tough US sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions were eased by former US president Barack Obama’s administration under the terms of the nuclear deal but were reimposed after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement last year.

Pence said the EU had “led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our 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 added, according to a transcript by the Reuters news agency.

US and European divisions over Iran led France and Germany to opt against sending their top diplomats to the Warsaw conference. Continue Reading….