Trump administration says Iran complying with nuke deal

Frederick Owens
April 21, 2017

The development of the USA reviewing the sanctions relief for Iran comes as Washington also asserted that Iran remains a "leading sponsor" of terrorism.

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

However, calling Iran "a leading state sponsor of terror", Tillerson informed Congress that the Trump administration had directed a full review of the 2015 nuclear deal to evaluate whether continued sanctions relief was in the USA national security interests, NBC News reported. Trump, it said, "has directed a National Security Council-led interagency revew of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States". The deal saw Iran commit to limit its development of nuclear material in return for the lifting of oil and financial sanctions worth billions of dollars.

The certification was the latest signal that US President Donald Trump, who campaigned against the Iran deal and at times suggested he would scrap it, has as president adopted a more toned-down posture related to the Iranian regime.

Tillerson told reporters the review, which he announced on Tuesday, would not only look at Tehran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behaviour in the region which he said undermined United States interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

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Defense Secretary James Mattis said last month that Iran continues to export terrorism and sponsor the activity of its ally Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based terrorist group.

Donald Trump has ordered a review of the Iran nuclear deal, even though it is complying with all its commitments. That could mean "incredibly strict implementation" of the nuclear deal, such as holding them accountable for even minor breaches for the agreement.

Iran was exempted from an OPEC deal to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting January 1, a victory for Tehran which argued it needs to regain the market share it lost during long years of sanctions.

The next test of Trump's attitude towards the nuclear deal will be in May when he must decide whether to extend sanctions waivers for Iran first signed by Obama.

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