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An 'Unchecked Iran' Could Follow Same Path as North Korea: Rex Tillerson

21 April 2017

The White House is aware of "potential negative impacts" from a review ordered by President Donald Trump of whether lifting sanctions through the Iran nuclear deal was in USA national security interests, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump ordered the review to evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to the nuclear deal was "vital to the national security interests of the United States", Tillerson said.

The secretary of state then specifically addressed the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. "The Trump administration is now conducting a comprehensive review of our Iran policy".

In a letter from Rex Tillerson, secretary of the US State Department, to Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Tillerson wrote that as of April 18, "Iran is compliant through April 18th with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action".

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"Worn-out USA accusations can't mask its admission of Iran's compliance" with the nuclear agreement, which is forcing the United States administration "to change course and fulfill its own commitments", Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif yesterday said on his Twitter account.

In their first meeting, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke "at length" about terrorism, Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and Ukraine, the European Union said in a statement. The U.S. has continued to punish Tehran for those activities with non-nuclear sanctions that also fall outside the purview of the deal.

Earlier in the week, James Mattis, the Defense Secretary, spoke in Saudi Arabia about the crisis in Yemen and Iran's role.

He also described the country as a "leading state sponsor of terror'".

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Beijing says Iranian and Chinese companies will sign the first commercial contracts to redesign the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor in central Iran in the weekend.

"That is why we have to look at Iran in a very comprehensive way in terms of the threat it poses in all areas of the region and the world", he added.

Trump's administration has been focused on marginal changes that would preserve much of NAFTA, according to draft guidelines that Trump's trade envoy sent to Congress.

Donald Trump's administration has become more heavily involved in foreign affairs during the last month, with tensions rising in relations between Washington and several other states, including Russian Federation and North Korea. Obama and others argued it was narrowly tailored to take the most risky prospect - a nuclear-armed Iran - off the table.

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During his presidential campaign, Trump called the nuclear agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated", raising questions over whether he would rip it up once he took office. He had said in January 2016, after the deal was implemented, that "Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb".

An 'Unchecked Iran' Could Follow Same Path as North Korea: Rex Tillerson