In remarks issued at the Department of State on July 26, U.S. Vice President Michael Pence spoke about the lack of freedoms in Iran, most notably the lack of freedom of religion, which he spoke of as religious persecution.
Pence noted that those who practice religions outside of Islam risk being prosecuted as “waging war against God”, a crime in Iran that brings severe penalties.
Vice President comments
“The people of the United State of America have a message for the long-suffering people of Iran. Even as we stand strong against the threats and malign actions of your leaders in Tehran, know that we are with you. We pray for you and we urge you, the good people of Iran, to press on with courage in the cause of freedom and a peaceful future for your people,” said Pence.
Sanctions are ramping up and President Trump has indicated that there will be no waivers for those countries that want to continue buying small amounts of Iranian oil. The U.S. appears to be focused on strangling the Iranian economy by cutting off Iranian oil and keeping it from reaching any market.
The mullahs and the Iranian regime are speaking out and escalating a war of words with the U.S., threatening military action if the U.S. continues on the course of sanctions and hardline tactics.
One of the criticisms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is that the Obama administration did not do enough to address human rights abuses in Iran, most notably the high rate of executions and persecution of minorities, including religious minorities.
Create a free and democratic Iran
Pence’s comments come just after a gathering of Iranian resistance members and their supporters in France. The group, led by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), continues to speak out against the Iranian regime, calling on the international community to support the Iranian people in their bid to create a free and democratic Iran.
There are, however, questions about how well the U.S. will be able to tow the line of sanctions, with Europe still trying to save the JCPOA. Many international companies are taking no chances of risking their relationships with the U.S. financial system and its large marketplace, instead choosing to pull out before sanctions begin.