U.S. Vice President Pence Warns Iran: Don't Test Trump

Speaking with ABC News, Pence mentioned Iranian ballistic missile testing and Tehran's funding of rebels in Yemen as examples of what is testing the new president.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, February 4, 2017.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, February 4, 2017.Credit: David Swanson/AP

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned Iran on Sunday "not to test the resolve" of President Donald Trump, adding that the Iranians should “think twice about their continued hostile and belligerent actions.”

Speaking on ABC News with network anchor George Stephanopoulos, who asked the vice president what would test Trump's resolve, Pence mentioned Iranian ballistic missile testing and Tehran's support for rebels in Yemen. "The president said everything's on the table," Pence noted, and that does not exclude U.S. military action.

Late last month, Iran carried out a test launching of a medium-range ballistic missile, a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Mike Pence on ABC News

Last Friday, in the wake of the ballistic missile testing, the United States imposed sanctions against 13 Iranian individuals and 12 Iranian entities after putting Iran "on notice" over its actions. Under the sanctions, those involved cannot access the U.S. financial system or deal with U.S. companies.

“Iran should be standing up and be essentially working with the world community. But instead, what we see is this kind of belligerent and hostile behavior, defiant behavior to the world community,” Pence told Stephanopoulos. And in reference to the nuclear agreement that Iran signed with a group of world powers in 2015, Pence said: "The president and I and our administration think it was a terrible deal,” and added: “We're evaluating [what to do next] as we speak.”

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Vice President Mike Pence return to the White House after a visit to Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2017.Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

Prior to boarding a plane for London on Sunday for talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Netanyahu said Iran was at the top of his agenda in the talks.

He accused the Iranians of trying to test the boundaries through what he said were "extraordinary aggression, impudence and defiance."

Trump told reporters on Thursday that "nothing is off the table" in terms of a response to Iran's ballistic missile test.

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Trump on Thursday expressing support for his administration's plans to place new sanctions on Iran in light of its ballistic missile experiment conducted over the weekend.

With reporting by Amir Tibon and Reuters.

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