Pence Says Trump Indictment Sends ‘Terrible Message’ About US Justice

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
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Pence Says Trump Indictment Sends ‘Terrible Message’ About US Justice

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)

The indictment of former US President Donald Trump sends a "terrible message" to the world about American justice and will encourage dictators to abuse power, former Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday.

"There are dictators and authoritarians around the world that will point to that to justify their own abuse of their own so-called justice system," Pence, Trump's former vice president and a potential rival for the Republican Party's 2024 White House nomination, said during an interview at the National Review's Ideas Summit.

Trump is due to be fingerprinted and photographed in a New York courthouse next week as he becomes the first former president to face criminal charges, in a case involving a 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump, who is mounting a comeback bid for the presidency he lost in the 2020 election, was indicted on Thursday in New York.

Pence has joined fellow Republicans and Trump's other potential 2024 rivals in condemning the indictment, calling it an "outrage."



Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
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Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)

The United States should realize that Iran will not respond to pressure, President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian said in a statement published on Saturday, in which he also highlighted his country's friendship with China and Russia.

Pezeshkian, a relative moderate who beat a hardline rival in elections, also reiterated that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, adding that Tehran would expand ties with neighbors and engage with Europe.

"The United States...needs to recognize the reality and understand, once and for all, that Iran does not - and will not - respond to pressure (and) that Iran’s defense doctrine does not include nuclear weapons," Pezeshkian said in the statement, titled "My message to the new world" and published in the daily Tehran Times.

Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old heart surgeon, has pledged to promote a pragmatic foreign policy, ease tensions over now-stalled negotiations with major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear pact and improve prospects for social liberalization and political pluralism.

However, many Iranians are skeptical about his ability to fulfil his campaign promises as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not the president, is the ultimate authority in the country.

"China and Russia have consistently stood by us during challenging times. We deeply value this friendship.

"Russia is a valued strategic ally and neighbor to Iran and my administration will remain committed to expanding and enhancing our cooperation," Pezeshkian said, adding that Tehran would actively support initiatives aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine.

"The Iranian people have entrusted me with a strong mandate to vigorously pursue constructive engagement on the international stage while insisting on our rights, our dignity and our deserved role in the region and the world.

"I extend an open invitation to those willing to join us in this historic endeavor,"