Iran speech gives us a glimpse into Pence’s foreign policy

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday sharply criticized what he called the “weaknesses” of the Biden administration’s foreign policy, slamming the administration’s “catastrophic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan” and arguing that the White House’s “appeasement” of Iran was counterproductive.

In a speech to a prominent Iranian exile group that advocates for regime change in Tehran and has a prominent sympathizer in the Trump administration, Mr. Pence briefly outlined his own risks if he runs for president in 2024. what will happen to foreign policy.

“Peace can only be achieved through strength,” the former vice president said, adding that Mr. Biden has sparked instability in the Middle East and beyond because “opponents of freedom are feeling the weakness of the U.S. government” and “have their guts tested.” Our strength”. solve. “

While he stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for the invasion of Ukraine — and “must be held accountable,” Mr. Pence asserted that the Biden administration’s fragile and ill-advised foreign policy moves have exacerbated the crisis, leaving the world eager to free itself from the crisis. Washington.

“There is no doubt that working hand-in-hand with the regime in Tehran to reopen the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Russia and the disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan sends a message to embolden those who use violence to achieve their political goals,” he said. Say. “Weakness breeds evil, and evil is on the rise in Iran and around the world, illustrating the weakness that the current administration of the United States predicts.”

Mr. Pence, who broke with President Trump over the fallout from the 2020 election and is said to be strongly considering a White House run in 2024, traveled to Albania to speak at the headquarters of Iran’s People’s Jihad. The dissident group, also known as Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), claims to have an extensive network of agents inside Iran.

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Mr Pence’s visit comes about a month after former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a similar appearance at MEK headquarters in Albania. John Bolton, a former national security adviser to President Trump, and former Trump personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, among others, also spoke at the MEK rally and called for regime change in Tehran.

President Trump has never publicly supported the policy, but he has taken a hard line on Tehran, denying the 2018 Iran nuclear deal, reimposing tough sanctions on Iran’s economy, and authorizing a 2020 U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s top military commander. General Sim Soleimani was killed.

The Biden administration has partially reversed course, scrambling over the past 18 months to try to revive the nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for promises of curbs on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Proponents of the 2015 deal say Iran has only been one step closer to acquiring nuclear weapons since the United States withdrew from the multilateral accord under Trump.

But Mr Biden’s efforts to rebalance the relationship have faced bipartisan resistance in Congress, including opposition from prominent Democrats such as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez.

Mr Pence took a tougher stance on Thursday, claiming that “appeasement has never worked and will never work” and that the administration “re-accepted” a deal he said was wrong to address the regime’s support for terrorism .

“Restaking the nuclear deal with Iran will not bring peace and stability. It will lead to more terrorism, death and destruction,” Mr. Pence said. “[It] It will not stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, it will pave the way, and the re-signed Iran nuclear deal will not benefit the Iranian people in any way. It will only enhance and enrich a corrupt regime that has tortured and tortured the Iranian people for generations. “

“We call on the Biden administration to stand with the people of Iran and stand up for the cause of freedom and justice… withdraw immediately from all nuclear negotiations with Tehran, express support for Iran’s organized opposition, and make clear that the United States and our Allies will never allow the Tehran regime to acquire nuclear weapons.”

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