Published: Tue, January 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iran nuclear deal is disaster & US will withdraw unless it's fixed

Iran nuclear deal is disaster & US will withdraw unless it's fixed

US Vice President Mike Pence dedicated one of the final parts of his historic speech at the Knesset on Monday to the topic of the Iranian nuclear deal.

During a speech to the Israeli Knesset Monday, Pence reiterated the Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing the city as the capitol.

The Trump administration is expected to approve a plan to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year, rather than waiting for several years, Trump administration officials said Friday.

In Israel, the main Arab party in the Israeli parliament says it will boycott his speech, though it is not clear whether they will walk out on Pence in protest or skip the session altogether. Previous estimates had been the move would take three or four years. Netanyahu is thanking visiting Vice President Pence for standing up for the "truth" and supporting Israel at the United Nations.

The president's action upended years of USA policy that refrained from declaring Jerusalem the capital as part of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, who also claim the city as their capital. "He righted a 70 year wrong, he kept his promise to the American people", he said in reference to the Washington's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Turkish Attack on Syrian Kurds 'Destabilizing'
The Afrin district houses an estimated 800,000 civilians, including displaced people from earlier years of the Syrian war. US officials quickly called on Turkey to limit the scope and duration of the operation to avoid civilian casualties.

He said he had raised his concerns for some time that such a decision on Jerusalem "does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict".

"The United States has chosen fact over fiction, and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace", he said. Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem after capturing it in 1967 in a move not internationally recognized, regards all of the city as its "eternal and indivisible capital".

Pence confirmed several elements of US-Israel policy in his speech, which received a mixed response from the Israelis. The PA further snubbed Pence in a scheduled visit to the region.

Abbas will meet European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the bloc's 28 foreign ministers on Monday on the sidelines of their monthly meeting, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a similar visit last month.

The intention to move the embassy, which has been condemned by the Palestinians and their Arab allies, was agreed in theory by US lawmakers years ago but was set in motion by US President Donald Trump in December. He said the United States would support a two-state solution "if both sides agree".

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