Pence accuses Islamic Republic of Iran as world’s first state sponsor of terrorism

Mike Pence has launched a scathing attack on European efforts to defy US sanctions on Iran, saying a scheme to keep trade links with the Islamic republic open was an “ill-advised step” that would strengthen Tehran and add to transatlantic tensions.

Speaking during a US-led conference on the Middle East in Warsaw on Thursday, the US vice-president called on Europe to follow America in abandoning a landmark deal struck three years ago to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

In a speech that laid bare the gulf between Washington and Europe on how to deal with Tehran, Mr Pence reserved particular criticism for Germany, France and the UK, which two weeks ago set up a mechanism to help maintain trade links with Iran. The US sees the move as an attempt to circumvent sanctions Washington imposed last year.

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