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Tillerson attacks Iran nuclear deal and vows a "comprehensive review"

20 Avril 2017

Tillerson's remarks come as the Trump administration is reviewing US policy toward Iran.

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea - and to take the world along with it", Tillerson said. "The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration".

"Such incendiary rhetoric serves no goal other than to undermine a nuclear deal that is working, and that by Tillerson's own admission Iran is in compliance with".

US President Donald Trump made contradictory promises during the campaign as to what his policy would be toward Iran, but a few times vowed to dismantle the accord, if elected. They note that the U.S. is making these moves in the lead up to a quarterly global meeting in Austria to review the deal.

"We understand there is some tough talk for internal consumption and the United States electorate", one Western diplomat explained. At least that's our understanding from the American side for now. After the deal was negotiated, he worked with Congress to maintain US sanctions targeting Iran's missile development and alleged human rights violations.

Should the U.S. break the terms of the agreement, it would upset the other partners of the deal, which was signed in July 2015 - and Iran could consider the move a green light to restart its nuclear activity. "None of the other countries would be up for that".

In an ominous warning, Tillerson linked Iran's behavior to that of North Korea and said that with both countries, the USA would no longer engage in "strategic patience".

However, Tillerson's letter was in line with many other assessments that have found Iran has kept its part of the bargain. The immediate concern is the ways in which the financial relief provided by the deal's rollback of sanctions is being used by Iran to destabilize the region.

In exchange, worldwide and USA sanctions on nuclear-related issues were lifted and billions of dollars in Iranian assets were unfrozen when the deal was implemented in January 2016. "It's not clear we've achieved that result, and the economic relief they've received has been used on weapons systems and support for terrorism". By asserting that the JCPOA does not prevent a nuclear Iran, Secretary Tillerson has chosen to ignore the vast majority of USA security experts, as well as the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, and even Israel. "There would have been no way to get a deal if we lumped in everything else we don't like about Iran".

Like the diplomats, Kirby said the administration may be looking for political cover.

"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods", Tillerson wrote.

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Rep. Ted Deutch (D., Fla.) explained his opposition to former President Barack Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal during a Thursday appearance on CNN's "New Day".

In parallel, there is growing bipartisan support in Congress for additional sanctions over Iran's ballistic missile programme, human rights violations and support for terrorist groups.

He dismissed the agreement as a short-term effort to "buy off a power who has nuclear ambitions" that would backfire in the long term, the kind of approach that he said failed with Pyongyang. The hardliners are already emboldened. "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".

Tillerson criticized Iran for its hostility toward Israel, its sponsorship of Houthi rebels in Yemen, its backing of Assad, the harassment of USA naval vessels plying the Persian Gulf, and cyberattacks against the United States and its allies in the Gulf.

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

That doesn't necessarily mean it will "tear up" the deal, which was agreed with five other world powers. "What I see is a more strict (US) interpretation of the deal and that interpretation will be different than Iran's interpretation".

Sanctions were lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified Tehran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities.

Analysts and former government officials said it was unlikely the Trump administration would renounce the Iran agreement.

Still, since taking office, Trump has stopped promising he'll gut the deal. "If he thought everything was fine, he would have allowed this to move forward", Spicer said.

"Everywhere you look if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran", Mattis said. "Our allies have repeatedly indicated that they will not follow our lead in destroying the nuclear deal nor will they join us on a path to war with Iran".

Since the pact was signed, Pompeo said, "The list of Iranian transgressions has increased dramatically".

Tillerson attacks Iran nuclear deal and vows a