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Iran's FM reacts to Tillerson's criticism on nuclear deal

21 April 2017

On April 19, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that "Iran's provocative actions threaten the United States, the region, and the world" and promised that an ongoing review of US policy toward the country would produce a new posture that would "meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction".

President Trump was reportedly furious when he learned that the State Department had issued a statement on Tuesday declaring Iran in compliance with the so-called nuclear "deal".

One day earlier, the top United States diplomat acknowledged that the Iranians had met the terms of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In a scathing assessment, the Secretary of State also accused Iran of exporting terror and violence, and confirmed that Washington is conducting a review of its policy towards the Middle Eastern nation.

Iran has yet to comment on the Trump administration's review, but Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned in November that Tehran would retaliate if the U.S. breached the agreement.

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"This deal represents the same failed approach of the past", Tillerson said at a hastily arranged press conference on Wednesday.

"Whether it be assassination attempts, support of weapons of mass destruction, deploying destabilising militias, Iran spends its treasure and time disrupting peace", he said.

He said his administration would have more to say about the arrangement in the near future.

But US allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia were concerned the JCPOA does not shut down Iran's nuclear industry entirely nor forever, and Obama's domestic critics accused him of appeasing a terrorist state.

In the first reaction to Tillerson's remarks from a senior Iranian official, Zarif tweeted that the United States should "fulfill its own commitments".

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"We have to look at Iran in a comprehensive way in terms of the threat it poses and all areas of the region and the world".

But to critics, it is a sign that a presidential candidate who promised to rip up the nuclear pact with Iran is discovering that walking away from multilateral agreements is much more hard once in office.

In the first Iranian reaction to the comments, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. should meet its own obligations before throwing around such serious allegations.

Tillerson's notice to Congress was part of a 90-day process in which the president has to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear accord.

As president, Trump called it "one of the worst deals I've ever seen".

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Iran's FM reacts to Tillerson's criticism on nuclear deal