VP Mike Pence Meets with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi During the 2023 Free Iran World Summit

Pence calls on Biden to ‘cease and desist’ nuclear negotiations with Iran

Pence said a nuclear agreement with Iran would be ‘ill-founded and dangerous’

Chris Pandolfo | Fox News, July 1, 2023

Former Vice President Pence called on the Biden administration to immediately “cease and desist” negotiations with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program.

Pence addressed Iranian opposition leaders Saturday at the Free Iran World Summit 2023 in riot-torn Paris, France, where he argued that President Biden has appeased the “tyrannical regime” in Iran. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of Iranian ex-patriots, the 2024 GOP hopeful denounced pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran amid reports that the Biden administration has an “interim” agreement on the table — which the administration has denied. 

“Today, as an ordinary American citizen, I call upon the Biden administration, and leaders of all freedom-loving nations, to stand with the people of Iran, to stand up for the cause of freedom and justice and to cease and desist all nuclear negotiations with Tehran immediately,” Pence said. 

The Biden administration has tried, and so far failed, to revive negotiations over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted in late 2022 that talks had gone “backwards” as Iran made “extraneous demands, demands unrelated to the JCPOA itself.” 

Publicly, the administration maintains that it is committed to pursuing diplomacy with Iran to prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which could destabilize the security of the Middle East and the world. 

Critics, including some neighboring countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as Pence, have argued that the deal will provide Iran with much-needed funds, which it would direct toward proxy terrorist activities against its regional rivals. 

write-up in the New York Times from June 14 reported that the U.S. has aimed to reach an informal, unwritten agreement with Iranian officials, which they refer to as a “political cease-fire” that would aim to prevent further escalation. Other talks on the subject allegedly occurred in Oman. 

A State Department spokesperson denied the report and told Fox News Digital “there is no nuclear deal in the offing.”

Pence called pursuit of a nuclear agreement with Tehran “ill-founded and dangerous.” 

He contrasted Biden’s policies toward Iran with the accomplishments of the Trump-Pence administration, including tough sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, canceling the Iran Nuclear Deal and ordering the attack that killed Iranian Quds Force leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani — for which the crowd chanted, “Thank you.” 

Tens of thousands of Iranians gather in Paris to express support for Mrs. Rajavi and the NCRI
Tens of thousands of Iranians gather in Paris to express support for Mrs. Rajavi and the NCRI

Pence warned that by waiving sanctions and engaging with Russia in talks with Iran, the Biden administration is “threatening to unravel all of the progress we made in marginalizing the tyrannical regime.”  

“The current American administration is working overtime to restore the Iran Nuclear Deal, putting Tehran on the fast track to obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Pence said. “And in fact, the current administration has admitted that under a restored nuclear deal, Iran would be capable of amassing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb in less than one year – even faster than what was allowed under the previous deal.” 

“A new nuclear deal won’t lead to peace and stability,” he said to loud applause. “It will lead to more terrorism, more death and destruction.” 

VP Mike Pence addresses the 2023 Free Iran World Summit
VP Mike Pence addresses the 2023 Free Iran World Summit

Pence was hosted by the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a political arm of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), which has vigorously opposed the JCPOA. The group has held frequent rallies in the French capital over the years, which have attracted thousands of followers and are often attended by high-profile former U.S., European and Arab officials critical of the Islamic Republic.

NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi spoke Saturday morning, calling for a “revolution” to end the “religious tyranny” in Iran and “topple the mullahs.” 

“We firmly assert that regardless of whether the JCPOA is active or not, the era of religious fascism has drawn to a close, and the sun of its existence is setting on the horizon of its downfall,” Rajavi said. 

One of the groups that is part of the NCRI coalition known as the MEK recently had its headquarters raided in Albania. The violent raid was criticized by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., who tweeted at the time: “Deeply concerned that across Europe – and especially right now, France and Albania – our allies are appeasing the Iranian regime and cracking down on anti-regime dissidents.”

Saturday’s event also included speeches from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and General Wesley Clark, and was attended by hundreds of other lawmakers from around the world. 

Fox News’ Peter Aitken and Reuters contributed to this report.

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