German Chancellor Merkel and US Vice-President Pence exchange words over Iran

Arturo Kim
February 19, 2019

The hardline cleric, who has been in power since 1989, said: "America's enmity towards Iran is obvious".

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the annual Munich Security Conference of global leaders said that a recent announcement by EU's major powers to initiate an alternative payments channel called INSTEX was not enough.

"There's nothing that speaks against getting gas from the United States, but to exclude Russian Federation is the wrong strategic signal", she said. Israel", Zarif said. "The risk (of war) is great.

"And to [.] all of you I bring greetings from a great champion of freedom and of strong national defense, who must work with these members of Congress to strengthen America's military might and strengthen the leadership of the free world", he continued.

Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran wanted to establish close ties with all countries in the Middle East, where Iran has been involved in proxy wars with Saudi Arabia for decades.

"His hateful accusations against Iran including his ignorant allegations of anti-semitism (...) are both ridiculous but at the same time very very risky", Zarif said.

She said it's better to "put yourself in the other's shoes ... and see whether we can get win-win solutions together".

He condemned Washington's regime-change approach toward Iran and its support of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), saying for forty years the USA rulers think the Islamic Republic will just disappear into thin air.

"All in the name of containing Iran, the United States claims, and some blindly parrot, that it is Iran that is interfering in the region, but has it been asked whose region?"

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He also indicated that USA troops have traveled "10,000 kilometers to dot all our borders with its bases".

"The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and the Iranian people, to stand with our allies and friends in the region", he told the audience.

Zarif also reacted to comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke at the Munich Security Conference after attending the one in Warsaw. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the 55th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on February 17, 2019.

Iran's foreign minister accused Israel yesterday of looking for war and warned that its actions and those of the U.S. were increasing the chances of a clash in the region.

That Special Purpose Vehicle - officially known as INSTEX - is a payments system created to allow European companies to trade with Iran and bypass USA sanctions, explains sanctions lawyer Nigel Kushner of London-based firm "W Legal".

Especially since Mr Trump's announcement he would pull United States troops out of Syria has left allies confused.

He is expected to respond to Washington's attempts to forge a new alliance against his country after the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. The deal was signed during the Obama regime in 2015.

U.S. Vice President Pence got muted applause when he spoke about U.S. global leadership, noting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have increased their defense spending.

The European Union is trying to keep the nuclear deal alive and has developed a mechanism to continue trade with Iran, drawing sharp criticism from Pence.

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