Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration was conducting a comprehensive review of its Iran policy across the entire us government.
Spicer said that the US might impose additional sanctions against Iran following the review, while cognizant of the potential fallout sanctions could cause.
As with North Korea, Tillerson said, the Trump administration is unwilling to be patient with Iran, ticking through a list of countries where he said Iran supports terrorism and violence.
He did not say how long the review would take but said in the letter to Ryan that the administration looked forward to working with Congress on the issue.
Tillerson spoke after the State Department certified to Congress that Iran is now in compliance with its obligations under the 2015 deal. "The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran", he said at a hurriedly convened press briefing yesterday.
In an ominous warning, Tillerson linked Iran's behaviour to that of North Korea and said that with both countries, the United States would no longer engage in "strategic patience".More news: Trump on Paris attack: "What can you say? It just never ends"
Although Tillerson confirmed on Tuesday, at the end of a prior 90-day review period, that Iran is not cheating on the terms of the JCPOA, Washington has not ruled out breaking its own side of the agreement.
Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to global peace and security.
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.
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".
Tillerson said that as of Tuesday, Iran was complying with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it agreed to in 2015 after negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Speaking alongside the Saudi crown prince on Wednesday, Mattis offered an obsequious tribute to the 31-year-old "royal highness" while vowing to "reinforce Saudi Arabia's resistance to Iran's mischief and make you more effective with your military as we work together as partners".More news: Ashmore Group plc (ASHM) Given "Hold" Rating at Peel Hunt
Another Western diplomat called the administration comments "a politically acceptable way of sending the certification to Congress" that Iran is holding to the deal, describing it as "certification dressed up in rhetoric" of criticism toward Tehran.
The secretary of state earlier acknowledged the Iranians had met the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Administration officials have made clear in recent days that they are very focused on Iran.
Sanctions were lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified Tehran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities.
His tough words matched those of USA defense secretary James Mattis, who said in a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that Iran's destabilising influence would have to be overcome to end the conflict in Yemen.
Even if the US backs out of the agreement, new USA sanctions won't have much effect unless the other countries bring their sanctions back as well.More news: Gun shop burglary suspect mailed manifesto to Trump
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