Tillerson Announces Trump Review of Iran Nuclear Deal


Tillerson further repeated a defunct U.S. accusation that Iran's nuclear program is not peaceful, claiming that the deal "only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state".

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea, and take the world along with it", he said, asserting that "the JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran".

On the campaign trail, Trump was a strident opponent of the "worst deal ever negotiated" and many of his supporters, including some in Congress, have been lobbying to re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

The certification probably indicates the outcome of the Trump administration's review of the JCPOA is a forgone conclusion just like a similar review in 2001 by the Bush administration of a deeply-flawed nuclear agreement with North Korea. After receiving billions in cash assets and other economic relief, Iran invested heavily in its military and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which continues to meddle in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and a host of other countries.

The letter did not say how long the evaluation would take. Yet he pointedly stopped sort of telegraphing whether or not the USA would stay in.

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Although Tillerson confirmed on Tuesday, at the end of a prior 90-day review period, that Iran is not cheating on the terms of the JCPOA, Washington has not ruled out breaking its own side of the agreement. A day after certifying Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attacked the accord and listed examples of Iran's bad behavior. The first is how Trump will treat the nuclear agreement that his predecessor, Barack Obama, reached with Iran in 2015.

Former President Barack Obama would have agreed with all the charges: that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, that it supports proxies which undermine USA interests in the region, that it's hostile to Israel and that its ballistic missile tests challenge UN Security Council prohibitions.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration appeared to be preparing a tougher line against Iran.

Tillerson added that the JCPOA ignored all other serious threats from Iran.

In January - a year on from the deal coming into force - Mr Obama noted that, as promised, Iran had reduced its uranium stockpile by 98 percent.

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Tuesday's determination suggested that while Trump agreed with the findings of the United Nations nuclear watchdog-the International Atomic Energy Agency-that Iran is keeping to its end of the bargain, he is looking for another way to ratchet up pressure on Tehran.

Still, since taking office, Trump has stopped promising he'll gut the deal.

And, with a funding deadline looming to keep the government running, Trump said it was possible Congress would manage to accomplish it all next week or "shortly thereafter".

Iran has so far made no public comments on the latest developments.

Obama, Kerry and others who negotiated the deal strenuously defended its terms and said the agreement made the world a safer place.

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"I think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed", Trump said.