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Tillerson brands Iran nuclear deal a failure
20 April 2017, 06:47 | Myron Mathis
He said: "The evidence is clear: Iran's provocative actions threaten the United States, the region, and the world".
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Tillerson said a review, which he had announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would look at the whole U.S. policy towards Iran - taking in not only Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.
The historic deal between Iran and six major powers restricts Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide oil and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Iran on Wednesday (19 April) of "alarming ongoing provocations" to destabilise countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launched a review of its policy towards Tehran.
The U.S.'s top diplomat said the agreement "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran", but stopped short of threatening to terminate the deal or slap more sanctions.
The US government must present a report on Tehran's compliance with the deal every 90 days, and Tuesday's update was the first conducted by President Donald Trump's administration.
Speaking to reporters, Tillerson said: "The Trump administration is now conducting across the entire government a review of our Iran policy".
And even if the United States does not reimpose the nuclear sanctions that it dropped under the deal, it could impose penalties on Iran for its alleged sponsorship of armed "terrorist" movements in other countries.
"The current administration seeks to refute the accusations that they are "agents of the Kremlin" at the expense of Iran, Syria, and North Korea", Yury Rogulev concluded. "And the JCPOA is one element of that", Tillerson said.
Foreign policy experts were dismayed by the Trump administration's ongoing aggression toward Iran, and warned that it could set the USA on a path toward war.
Among the key policies to fall under review was the nuclear deal brokered in 2015 between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "As indicated at the beginning, the Trump administration is now conducting a comprehensive review of our Iran policy, Once we've finalized conclusions we will meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction", he said.
"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods", Tillerson wrote. He had said in January of 2016 after the deal was implemented that "Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb".
However, Iran says it has the right to nuclear energy - and stresses that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.
The Trump administration has given itself 90 days to complete its review of the deal but will need to make a series of decisions in coming weeks about whether to continue its support of the deal, which also was brokered with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation. "But that timeline is not long enough to save the deal and stop the United States and Iran from sliding dangerously back to a path toward war".
The then U.S. administration under president Barack Obama hailed it as a victory for diplomacy over the threat of another new war to disarm a rogue state in an already unstable region.
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Since the pact was signed, Pompeo said, "The list of Iranian transgressions has increased dramatically". Both Iran and Hezbollah are now fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's forces.