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Rex Tillerson declares end to 'strategic patience' with Iran

21 April 2017

US President Donald Trump said he doesn't believe Iran has lived "up to the spirit" of the 2015 nuclear deal. "It shouldn't have been negotiated the way it was negotiated". At a joint news conference on Thursday, he said Iran was failing to fulfill the "spirit" of its nuclear deal with world powers and that the 2015 agreement shouldn't have been signed.

In a letter notifying Congress of the 90-day interagency review, Tillerson said the White House was looking into whether the USA should break with the deal due to Iran's continued support of terrorism.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump, the United States has assumed an openly confrontational stance toward Iran. "That was a bad one, as bad as I've ever seen negotiated".

In that regard, UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which backed and endorsed the JCPOA, states that assuming Iran complies with all its obligations, within 10 years of the agreement's adoption (2015) "all the provisions of resolution 2231 shall be terminated and the Security Council will have concluded its consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue".

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"We don't know whether or not they're able to do that, but I have absolute confidence that he will be trying very, very hard", Trump said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The deal came into force on January 16, 2016, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran was ready to implement the program to reduce its nuclear potential.

He said that the current administration will not pass "the buck to a future administration on Iran".

At the same time, Trump, who has appointed several generals to his administration, has not shied away from exercising American military might. And if it came to that, a ground war against Iran would be far more hard than the ones we fought against Iraq, which is about one-third Iran's size.

Beirut/Washington: Iran and the USA traded barbs over the landmark 2015 nuclear deal on Thursday, with the U.S. leader accusing Tehran of not living up to the spirit of the accord and Iran's top diplomat urging Washington to fulfil its own commitments. Tillerson said that there is enough evidence to prove that Iran's provocative actions are a threat to the United States and the entire world.

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Mr Tillerson, seeking to reinforce the idea that the U.S. is forcefully countering Iran's destabilising behaviour in the Middle East, also described Tehran as a "leading state sponsor of terror".

The Trump administration is reportedly considering new sanctions against Iran as it grapples with how to get North Korea to end its missile and nuclear weapon programs.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary James Mattis also agreed with Tillerson's claims, stating that he learned during a week-long tour of the Middle East that Iran is destabilizing the region.

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Rex Tillerson declares end to 'strategic patience' with Iran