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Tillerson accuses Iran of 'provocations'

21 April 2017

The six powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with the involvement from the European Union have set aside Iran's alleged support to 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 United Nations weapons inspectors.

Tillerson's certification also "indicates that the Trump administration has had a sort of... coming of age, to realize that this nuclear deal is not such a bad deal that President Trump was declaring during the campaign", Emad Kiyaei, a policy advisor with the American-Iranian Council, a non-profit whose mission is to provide a "sustainable dialogue and a more comprehensive understanding of US-Iran relations", told Reason.

"When the interagency review is completed, the administration looks forward to working with Congress on this issue", it said.

The White House spokesman further announced that the review would supposedly check if the anti-Iran sanctions ease, required under the JCPOA, is "vital to our national security interests".

"We understand there is some tough talk for internal consumption and the U.S. electorate", one Western diplomat explained. According to Rex, Iran was fulfilling the conditions of the deal.

Earlier this week, a senior White House official told Foreign Policy that the Trump administration is considering taking a harder stance on the deal - implementing the agreements in an "incredibly strict" way - or expanding sanctions against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is an Iranian military branch meant to protect the country's Islamic system.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has directed the National Security Council to review the worldwide agreement on Iran's nuclear program and evaluate whether suspending sanctions "is vital to the national security interests of the United States". "I think it's gonna go down as one of the worst deals in the history of this country, maybe of the world", Trump said in 2015. He opposed the Iran deal.

The nuclear agreement, negotiated during Barack Obama's presidency, placed limitations on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions against Iran. If the United States were to withdraw, then Iran would be free to exploit its own uranium enrichment capabilities and get closer and closer to getting the bomb. He added, "let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East". However, Tillerson branded the deal a failure, as Trump ordered a review of how the United States is countering the threat from Iran. "We just don't see that that's a credible way to be dealing with Iran".

"Every administration, when it doesn't know what the hell to do, reviews things", Slavin said. But yesterday, the State Department, facing a 90-day deadline to report to Congress, reported that Iran is in compliance with the agreement.

The agreement between Iran and six world powers, negotiated during Barack Obama's presidency, placed limitations on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting worldwide oil and financial sanctions against Iran.

Ahmad Majidyar, director of the Iran Observed Project at the Middle East Institute, said that "with a nuclear deterrent, Iran would most likely increase its support for groups in the region, which would definitely not improve regional or global security". The hardliners are already emboldened.

To quote Friedman: "Congress should pass a resolution authorizing this and future presidents to use force to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state ..."

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Iran, which has been accused of exposing sectarian fault lines in the region, especially in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, tried to soften its rhetoric as Rouhani said there should be greater unity between Shiites and Sunnis and that they had coexisted side by side peacefully for hundreds of years.

But Majidyar argued that scrapping the deal wouldn't help Washington.

On the worldwide Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Tillerson said it had failed to achieve its objective of a nuclear-free Iran.

American sanctions on Iran have some pertinent recent history.

- Complying with regular monitoring from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international watchdog for nuclear power.

SIEGEL: But it's not an explicit violation of the agreement that they've made the missiles. White House press secretary Sean Spicer, when asked Wednesday if the president was concerned Iran could be cheating, said, "that's why he's asking for this review".

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