Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Trump raps Iran as violating 'spirit' of nuclear deal

Trump raps Iran as violating 'spirit' of nuclear deal

The State Department informed Congress on Tuesday that the US would keep easing sanctions against Iran as the country complies with the nuclear pact reached between Tehran and six global powers in 2015.

Iran is not "living up to the spirit" to the nuclear agreement, President Donald Trump said Thursday, as he continued to slam the accord as "a bad agreement".

"We took note of information from Washington that an additional analysis of agreements with Iran on its nuclear program is beginning there", he said.

"We'll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future", said Trump.

Iran has defended its nuclear programme as purely civilian and its supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned in November that Tehran would retaliate if the USA breached the nuclear agreement.

Instead, they see the administration's harsh words as both a warning to rogue regimes such as North Korea and an effort to create political cover for sticking with the deal after President Donald Trump's campaign criticism of the pact as a "horrible deal".

Trump, in a news conference with the visiting Italian premier, didn't telegraph whether he would ultimately decide to keep the the deal or not, though he called it "terrible agreement" that was poorly negotiated. "I'm all for agreements, but that was a bad one, as bad as I've ever seen negotiated", he added.

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In a sharply worded critique Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered the administration's first serious statements on the fate of the Obama-era accord with Iran.

The nuclear deal was negotiated under the administration of US President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to the disagreement of the Republican-controlled congress, which had already imposed economic sanctions against Iran.

Iran believes the USA should hold up to its side of the agreement. And White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said money for Trump's border wall must be part of the legislation passed to fund the federal government, along with money to hire more immigration agents.

"It would more isolate the United States than it would isolate Iran", he said, noting that other world powers are party to the deal.

Before that 90-day policy review is finished review, the Trump administration will be faced with a decision that directly affects US compliance with the deal.

Both Iran and Hezbollah are now fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's forces.

President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the [agreement] is vital to the national security interests of the United States.

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