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German Chancellor Merkel and US Vice-President Pence exchange words over Iran

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German Chancellor Merkel and US Vice-President Pence exchange words over Iran
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Hundreds of peace protesters gathered outside the Munich Security Conference on Saturday demanding that the German government stopped sales of weapons being used in conflicts throughout the world.

Inside the venue a war of words began heating up between the United States and members of the European Union over Iran.

Following the U.S's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, in which they charged Tehran with meddling in conflicts in the region, Vice President Mike Pence said he wanted Europe to

"The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining US sanctions against this murderous, revolutionary regime," he said.

"The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people, our allies and friends in the region. The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal."

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagreed. She, along with several European allies, have argued that it is safer to preserve the deal.

"I see the ballistic missile programme. I see Iran in Yemen and above all I see Iran in Syria," Ms Merkel told delegates.

"The only question that stands between us, the United States of America and the Europeans on this issue is: 'Do we help our common cause, our common aim of containing the damaging or difficult influences of Iran, by withdrawing from the one remaining agreement? Or do we help it more by keeping the small anchor we have in order maybe to exert pressure in other areas?'"

Representatives at the three-day security conference are discussing the Middle East, tensions between Russia and the west and relations between the U.S. and E.U.