Vice President Mike Pence asked European allies to follow Washington’s lead and withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and urged the European Union to recognize Venezuelan politician Juan Guaido as the country’s president during a speech to world leaders at the Munich Security Conference.
"The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining sanctions" against Iran by offering economic incentives in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, Pence said Saturday, speaking after German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
France, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Russia and China are struggling with whether to join the U.S. in pulling out from the Obama-era deal.
"Join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region and the world the peace, security and freedom they deserve," Pence said in trying to rally support for the U.S. effort.
As for Venezuela, the vice president said in no uncertain terms Nicolas Maduro must be removed from power in the South American nation. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country due to dire economic circumstances that have resulted in high inflation and starvation.
“The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy,” Pence said. "Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power and Nicolas Maduro must go.”
Pence asked the leaders in the room to recognize Guaido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as the country's leader.
“So today we call on the European Union to step forward for freedom and recognize Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president of Venezuela,” he said.
Pence also warned of the threat posed by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, as it looks for partners to build 5G wireless infrastructure.
“The United States has also been very clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies,” he said. “We must protect our critical telecom infrastructure and America is calling on all our security partners to be vigilant."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.