Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Rex Tillerson Accuses Tehran Of 'Alarming Provocations'

However, the United States admitted that Tehran was complying with the 2015 agreement, the BBC said.

Proponents of the deal say that abandoning it would make other challenges in the Middle East even harder, emboldening Iranian hardliners and triggering Iran to restart its nuclear program, which could start a nuclear race in the region as other countries rushed to get their own bomb. "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".

The diplomat said the intensified language is also a shot across the bow by the United States to Iran to warn: "Just because North Korea is misbehaving, it doesn't mean we aren't still watching you". "We just don't see that that's a prudent way to be dealing with Iran".

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it is launching an interagency review to determine if continuing to lift economic sanctions off Iran as part of the Iran nuclear deal is in the security interest of the U.S.

He accused the country of "alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising more than one country at a time".

He also levelled a series of accusations at Iran - intensifying multiple conflicts including the one in Syria, undermining United States interests in several countries, continuing to support attacks against Israel, and sponsoring cyber and terror attacks across the world.

The secretary of state earlier acknowledged the Iranians had met the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Both before and after the talks, Tehran has maintained that such negotiations are exclusively in regard to Iran's nuclear program.

Tillerson criticized the way the Obama administration negotiated JCPOA, saying that a narrow focus on Tehran's nuclear program has done nothing to check Iran's ability to cause chaos throughout the world.

As a candidate, President Trump frequently called it the "worst deal ever negotiated".

"The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck on Iran", Tillerson said during a press conference at the State Department, adding that the administration plans to "completely review the JCPOA itself".

"I think they felt he needed to come out and make this statement because (Tillerson) was forced by congressional reporting to admit Iran was in compliance" with the deal, Kirby said.

This week the secretary of state informed Congress that Tehran is keeping its side of the bargain to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, which he's required to confirm every 90 days.

Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, but not to produce a nuclear weapon.

NUCLEAR war with Iran is a bigger threat than with North Korea, the U.S. warned as it blasted Tehran for "alarming provocations".

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

The "America First" president who vowed to extricate America from onerous overseas commitments appears to be warming up to the view that when it comes to global agreements, a deal's a deal.

The new U.S. administration makes this decision at the most inappropriate moment - a month before the presidential election in Iran, in which incumbent president Rouhani will run for the presidency.

Mr Trump has said that will not happen, and "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.

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