US Vice President Mike Pence vowed on Monday in an address to the Israeli parliament that Washington will never allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
“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,” Pence said to applause from Israeli MPs.
The 2015 deal that was meant to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities was fiercely opposed by Israel, but backed by then US president Barack Obama. His successor Donald Trump has fiercely criticized the agreement, accusing Tehran of not sticking to it and saying it still allows the Islamic republic to support terrorist organizations across the globe — including Israel’s longstanding enemies.
Earlier this month Trump again waived nuclear-related sanctions — as required every few months to stay in the agreement — but demanded European partners work with Washington to improve the terms of the deal.
“The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement,” Pence said.
“Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed President Trump has said the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.” The other parties to the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the European Union — have all said it is working and that Iran is complying fully with its commitments.
France says Iran not respecting UN resolution. France’s foreign minister accused Iran on Monday of not respecting part of a UN resolution that calls on Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Under the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, Iran is “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to 8 years. Some states say this phrasing does not make it an obligatory commitment.
Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied the missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads. But Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed the suggestion of talks on either issue and said Iran had shown it “would not change course under pressure.” “If there is such a quote (from the French foreign minister) that we held talks, we deny it. We have not had any negotiations about our missile and defense capabilities and will not talk about these issues with others,” Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday.