Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, DC on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence reminded his audience that “President Trump has called on the Congress and our European allies to enact real and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions.” Noting that “earlier this year the president waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act,” the VP warned, “make no mistake about it, this is their last chance.”

“Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately,” Pence vowed. “Whatever the outcome of those discussions today, I have a solemn promise to you, to Israel and to the wider world, the United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”


The vice president’s points about Iran matched perfectly visiting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement following his meeting at the White House with President Trump:

“If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East to both our countries, to our Arab neighbors, it’s encapsulated in one word: Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions. It came out of this nuclear deal emboldened, enriched. It’s practicing aggression everywhere, including on our own borders. And I think we have to stop this country that chants, ‘Death to Israel, death to America.'”

“Iran must be stopped,” Netanyahu reiterated. “That is our common challenge.”

Pence also touched on Iran’s nefarious designs: “Iran hopes to recreate the ancient Persian Empire under the modern dictatorship of the Ayatollahs,” he said, explaining, “As we speak, that regime seeks to carve out a corridor of influence running through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon creating an unbroken passage for its armies and its ideology. Last year alone, Iran spent more than $4 billion to achieve its ends, and at this very hour, it aids and abets terrorist groups that sit on Israel’s doorstep and fire rockets at our people.”

“In just the past month, the mounting Iranian menace has been laid bare for all to see,” the VP continued, reminding the AIPAC audience of “The Iranian drone that breeched Israel’s borders in February was a brazen act of aggression, but Israel’s swift and strong response sent a warning to Iran across the region that dangerous provocations will not go unchecked by Israel, America or our allies.”

Apropos the Persian Empire, PM Netanyahu also referred to it during his meeting with Trump, but in the most positive terms. Thanking the president for his official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of his Israel and his plan to move the US embassy there this spring, Netanyahu said, “I want to tell you that the Jewish people have a long memory, so we remember the proclamation of the great king, Cyrus the Great, Persian king 2,500 years ago. He proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon could come back and rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem.”

Of course, rebuilding the Temple would have been an even bigger deal than moving the US embassy, but it isn’t anything President Trump can do for the Jews. That one would require a decision by Benjamin Netanyahu.


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David writes news at JewishPress.com.