In an interview Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence slammed former President Barack Obama for his handling of the Iranian protests in 2009. “We looked for American leadership, and there was none,” he said.
In an interview with Voice of America News contributor Greta Van Susteren, Pence echoed President Donald Trump’s position of support for the protesters in Iran as well as the administration’s stance on North Korea. “We believe that the sanctions are working,” said Pence. “They’re not just working in Iran; we believe they’re working in North Korea.”
“Much is going on in Iran, and I realize it’s a very tough situation,” said Van Susteren. “The situation is very fragile over there. What is the United States going to do, if anything? I know that there has been a tweet and verbal statements and support, but what about doing?”
“Well, it’s important to remember, first and foremost, that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Pence replied. “I mean, not only do they oppress their own people, deny human rights to their own, but they also export terrorism across the region and continue to be an enormously dangerous, destabilizing force. And so to see the people of Iran rising up to demand change in their country should hearten every freedom-loving American and people who cherish freedom around the world.”
He also took a moment to criticize the Obama Administration’s policies on Iran. He recalled being in Congress and asking the then-president to take action during that time. “And we looked to the White House in those days in 2009,” he said. “We looked for American leadership, and there was none. There was deafening silence from the Obama administration.”
Van Susteren asked if the sanctions would help or hurt the people of Iran.
“We believe that the sanctions are working,” Pence replied. “They’re not just working in Iran; we believe they’re working in North Korea. And this President, this administration, are absolutely committed to continue to bring the full economic weight of the United States and these economic sanctions to bear on Iran.”
Van Susteren then shifted to North Korea, asking if the president is “playing with fire with Kim Jong Un, and sort of tweeting him in this Twitter war with him, back and forth?”
“President Trump has provided the kind of clear leadership on the world stage that’s made measurable progress, particularly with regard to North Korea,” he said. “President Trump made it clear: America will not be bullied, America will not be threatened, and that the United States of America has, by being clear, managed to marshal an unprecedented amount of economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.”
Watch the interview below: