Trump says Iran violating 'spirit' of nuclear deal


Tillerson is also likening Iran's behavior to that of North Korea.

The Iran certification, made 90 minutes before a midnight Tuesday deadline, means Tehran will continue to enjoy relief from US nuclear sanctions.

Tillerson said the Trump administration is reviewing the deal in light of these and other concerns.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the Middle East.

And even if the United States does not reimpose the nuclear sanctions that it dropped under the deal, it could impose penalties on Iran for its alleged sponsorship of armed "terrorist" movements in other countries.

Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University, said Trump may be allowing himself to argue in the future that existing deals can be improved without being totally discarded.

Iran has supported the Syrian government during the conflict in that country, militias fighting ISIS in Iraq - including the Popular Mobilization Forces - and Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as backed groups such as Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based militia.

"When the interagency review is completed, the administration looks forward to working with Congress on this issue", Tillerson wrote in a letter sent to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R - Wisc.).

In the latest sign of U.S.

Tillerson said the Iran nuclear deal fails to achieve its stated objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state.

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Although Tillerson confirmed on Tuesday, at the end of a prior 90-day review period, that Iran is not cheating on the terms of the JCPOA, Washington has not ruled out breaking its own side of the agreement.

The review will look at Tehran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal and its behaviour in the region which Tillerson said undermined United States interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Under its terms, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Former President Barack Obama would have agreed with all the charges: that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, that it supports proxies which undermine USA interests in the region, that it's hostile to Israel and that its ballistic missile tests challenge UN Security Council prohibitions.

The agreement was effectively dead before Trump took office after Congress refused to ratify it.

Iran has repeatedly denied accusations by the West that it was ever trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Yet with one exception - an Asia-Pacific trade deal that already had stalled in Congress - Trump's administration quietly has laid the groundwork to honor the global architecture of deals it has inherited.

Administration officials have made clear in recent days that they are very focused on Iran.

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

"Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that, they have to do that", the president said.