Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump administration says Iran complying with nuclear deal

Trump administration says Iran complying with nuclear deal

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US intends to review the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods", Tillerson wrote in a letter to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Despite the sanctions relief, Iran remains on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The Trump administration has ordered an inter-agency review of whether the suspension of sanctions on Iran under a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 was in the US' national security interests, the secretary of state has said.

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.

The Trump administration certified that Iran is in compliance with the deal it signed with the world powers to rein in its nuclear program.

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Tillerson said Iran has complied with the agreement's terms through Tuesday, the day he released the letter.

Tillerson made his statement to Congress as part of an announcement that Iran had been found compliant with its end of the deal through April 18, a certification that must be made every 90 days.

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 USA interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi warned US Defense Secretary James Mattis against making "unwarranted and malicious accusations against Iran", according to Iranian media.

Should the USA 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. That could mean "incredibly strict implementation" of the nuclear deal, such as holding them accountable for even minor breaches for the agreement. Iran has defended its nuclear programme as purely civilian.

Reapplying sanctions would violate the terms of the groundbreaking deal signed with Iran by former President Barack Obama, Russia, China and European Union partners. It is the first update under the Trump administration.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Frederica Mogherini, said last month after meetings with senior Trump administration officials she was reassured in the talks that the United States was committed to fully implementing the deal.

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