Trump Says Iran not 'Living up to Spirit' of Nuclear Deal


"Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that", said US President Donald Trump in a joint news conference in the White House with Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on April 20, 2017.

With the administration acknowledging that Iran is - at least technically - adhering to the deal, it was unclear what Trump meant when he said Iran is "doing a tremendous disservice to the agreement" by not complying with the "spirit" of the accord.

"It shouldn't have been signed".

While disparaging the nuclear deal and accusing Iran of fomenting violence and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Trump has avoided committing to abandoning the agreement, a move that would be staunchly opposed by USA businesses and European allies.

"We took note of information from Washington that an additional analysis of agreements with Iran on its nuclear program is beginning there", he said.

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Tillerson insisted that the nuclear deal was a failure as it only delayed and does not avert Iran's goal of becoming a nuclear state.

Mr Trump had previously called the accord "the worst deal ever negotiated".

Tillerson said one of the mistakes in the way the agreement was put together was that it ignored all the other serious threats Iran posed outside of its nuclear programme. "Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to worldwide peace and security".

The president had previously spoken about dismantling or withdrawing from both agreements as part of his vision, explained in his inaugural address, that "every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families".

And shortly after the Italian prime minister said that a USA role in Libya was critical, Trump, in response to a question about whether he believes his administration should play a part in helping to stabilize that country, said bluntly, "I do not see a role in Libya".

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In spoken remarks, though, he talked only of Iran's bad behaviour and linked that to the future of the deal.

WASHINGTON | The "America First" president who vowed to extricate America from onerous overseas commitments appears to be warming up to the view that when it comes to global agreements, a deal's a deal.

Tillerson's hastily arranged statement before cameras at the State Department reflected the competing forces pulling at the Trump administration as it develops its policy toward Iran.

Trump also voiced optimism that the US had successfully enlisted China to try to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

"We will help it be strong, and it's very much to everybody's advantage", Trump said.

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"The militia they maintain, Lebanese Hezbollah that they support in Lebanon, that militia is contributing thousands of fighters, and of course Iran's got its own military inside Syria continuing to hold [President Bashar] Assad in power", said U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis while in Saudi Arabia this week.