USA top diplomat warns of Iran 'provocations'


Foreign policy experts were dismayed by the Trump administration's ongoing aggression toward Iran, and warned that it could set the us on a path toward war.

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

The six powers that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal - the US, China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, with the involvement from the European Union - set aside Iran's alleged support for terrorism in order to get a deal guaranteeing that the country would not be able to build a nuclear weapon for a decade and would remain under the eye of UN weapons inspectors.

"The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran", Tillerson said at a press briefing. Iran has complained that sanctions relief never gave it the economic boost it craved, and it has blamed the United States for not doing enough to allow US businesses and banks to set up shop in Iran. The administration also said that it has extended the sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the country to continue curbs on its nuclear programme.

As part of a long list of charges, he criticised Iran's involvement in the Syrian conflict and its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Companies from China and Iran will this weekend sign the first commercial contracts to redesign an Iranian nuclear plant as part of an global deal reached in 2015 over Iran's nuclear programme, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

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He said that the nuclear deal is another example of "buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions".

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The landmark 2015 agreement saw crippling sanctions lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified Tehran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities.

Trump described the accord as the "worst deal ever negotiated" during his campaign and threatened to tear it up, but analysts say that is increasingly unlikely.

How has the U.S. position changed?

But Rex Tillerson has come pretty close to saying the agreement is not worth keeping, even though he's had to admit it's working. Under the deal, the State Department is required to notify Congress every 90 days on Iran's compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach", he said.

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But Mr Obama kept those issues separate from the nuclear agreement, which would have been impossible to achieve without that narrow focus.

"A comprehensive Iran policy requires that we address all of the threats posed by Iran and it is clear there are many".

What has this got to do with North Korea?

He said the deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama's administration along with other world powers, represented the "same failed approach" the USA has taken to North Korea.

Mr Trump has said that will not happen, and "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.

The Trump administration is now conducting a "comprehensive review" of Iran policy, he said.

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