United States top envoy accuses Iran of 'alarming provocations'
United States top envoy accuses Iran of 'alarming provocations'
21 Abril, 2017, 19:45
From NAFTA to the Iran nuclear agreement to the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric is colliding with the reality of governing. "It shouldn't have been negotiated the way it was negotiated".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared the Iran nuclear deal a failure on Wednesday but left open the possibility the Trump administration will uphold it nonetheless.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday (April 20) the United States should meet its own obligations agreed in a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 rather than making accusations against the Islamic Republic.
Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Mikhail Ulyanov, on Thursday said that the US complaints over how the nuclear deal on Iran is being implemented are irrelevant.
"The worn-out allegations by the USA can not cover the country's admission of Iran's implementation of its nuclear deal undertakings", Zarif said. "And we are analyzing it very carefully, and we will have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future". "Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to worldwide peace and security", he added.
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Tillerson's language was similar to that used by other top Trump administration officials to describe the new US policy toward North Korea. "It shouldn't have been signed", said Trump here at a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Those nations are now dealing extensively with Iran thanks to Obama's nuclear deal, and would probably not resume sanctions simply because Trump wanted them to.
Secretary of State Tillerson wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan late on Tuesday that Iran remains a "leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods", and that the National Security Council-led interagency review will evaluate whether the sanctions relief granted Iran through the deal is in in fact in the USA national interest.
He said the deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama's administration along with other world powers, represented the "same failed approach" the US has taken to North Korea.
Republicans in the US Congress have also been critical, advocating new sanctions on Iran for supporting terrorism and for its ballistic missile program. It does not address Iran's backing of terrorism, and the USA partners in brokering the deal - including western Europe, Russia, and China - would likely balk at making terrorism an issue after the fact.
"The evidence is clear: Iran's provocative actions threaten the US, the region and the world", he said.
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He said Iran is "the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism" and highlighted its military support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Huthi rebels in Yemen and militias in Iraq and in Lebanon.
President Trump is slated to travel to Italy next month, where he will meet again with Gentiloni and other U.S. allies from around the globe.
"A comprehensive Iran policy requires we address all of the threats posed by Iran and it is clear there are many", Tillerson told reporters at the state department.
After he was elected, some of his top officials - including his defense secretary, James Mattis - said it would be unwise to scrap the deal.
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