Image 1 of 2
United States Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. The Polish capital is host for a two-day international conference, co-organized by Poland and the United States. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Image 2 of 2
Front row third from left, United States Vice President Mike Pence, fourth from left, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, fifth from left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sixth from left, United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, pose for a group photo at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. The Polish capital is host for a two-day international conference on the Middle East, co-organized by Poland and the United States. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
WARSAW, Poland – The Latest on the Middle East meeting taking place in Warsaw (all times local):
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is calling for America’s European allies to join it in withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and stop efforts he said are designed to evade U.S. sanctions.
Speaking at a Middle East conference in Poland, Pence accused Iran of being the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism. He lamented that Britain, France and Germany created a special financial mechanism that Washington believes is aimed at “breaking” tough U.S. sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions were eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the nuclear deal but were re-imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement last year.
U.S. and European divisions over Iran led France and Germany to opt against sending their top diplomats to the Warsaw conference.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the world “can’t achieve peace and security in the Middle East without confronting Iran.”
Pompeo spoke Thursday before the opening session of a Middle East security conference in Warsaw. Appearing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo says “pushing back” against Iran is central to dealing with all the region’s other problems. Several high-profile Arab dignitaries are also attending.
The U.S. and Poland are sponsoring the conference, which they say is aimed at promoting peace and security in the Mideast but appears to be mainly focused on isolating Iran.
Iran has denounced the gathering as an American anti-Iran “circus.” Russia has said it will not attend, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is also skipping the event.