Trump administration certifies Iran compliant with nuclear deal

Toby Manning
April 21, 2017

"The Trump administration is now conducting across the entire government a review of our Iran policy", Tillerson said.

Spicer said that the US might impose additional sanctions against Iran following the review, while cognizant of the potential fallout sanctions could cause.

In announcing a broad review of Iran policy the Trump administration has not jettisoned the nuclear deal.

Mr Trump has described the landmark agreement as the "worst deal ever".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is now assessing the Iran nuclear deal because the country is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

However, Tillerson emphasized that Iran continues to be the world's leading state sponsor of terror.

Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a strong relationship of mutual respect - while noting that he told Xi that he plans to use trade negotiations as a bargaining chip to force China to engage more on pushing North Korea to limit its nuclear ambitions. After receiving billions in cash assets and other economic relief, Iran invested heavily in its military and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which continues to meddle in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and a host of other countries.

Tillerson's notice to Congress was part of a 90-day process in which the president has to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear accord.

The day before, Tillerson - required by law to report regularly to Congress on Tehran's adherence to the deal - had affirmed that Iran is abiding to the pact curbing its nuclear program.

In the deal, countries were to lift trade sanctions against Iran, in exchange for the country halting development on its nuclear programme. Critics have said it's unfathomable that the USA would grant sanctions relief to Tehran even as it continues testing ballistic missiles, violating human rights and supporting extremist groups elsewhere in the Middle East.

Iran has yet to comment on the Trump administration's review, but Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned in November that Tehran would retaliate if the USA breached the agreement. He also said the narrowly-defined deal to control their nuclear program did not stop Iran from other meddling in the region through terrorism.

"The [nuclear deal] fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran".

Make no mistake: this is a huge win for the Obama administration and the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy - the so-called swamp - who desperately want to protect this flawed and unsafe agreement at all costs. Tuesday's was the first update for the Trump administration.

But Obama had said the deal would make the world safer and more secure.

Robert Einhorn, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was involved in Iran policy under Obama, said it was "pretty much a foregone conclusion" that Trump would keep the agreement in place.

Other reports by VgToday

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