Tillerson declares the Iran nuclear deal a failure

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said the Iran deal "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran" and only delays that country's threat, noting President Donald Trump's administration is conducting a comprehensive strategy review of its approach to that Middle Eastern country.

Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran.

Sajjadpour also noted that Iran was fulfilling its obligations under the deal.

The deal placed curbs on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

Asked if the White House was concerned that tougher sanctions on Iran could motivate it to violate the agreement, Spicer said: "We're well aware of any potential negative impacts that an action could have".

Tillerson's certification also "indicates that the Trump administration has had a sort of... coming of age, to realize that this nuclear deal is not such a bad deal that President Trump was declaring during the campaign", Emad Kiyaei, a policy advisor with the American-Iranian Council, a non-profit whose mission is to provide a "sustainable dialogue and a more comprehensive understanding of US-Iran relations", told Reason. It architects, however, said they were cautiously optimistic that the deal would stay in place. He had said in January of 2016 after the deal was implemented that "Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb".

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

People familiar with the issue say the Boeing deal will be one reason they think Trump will be forced to honor the deal given the number of jobs it creates in the U.S.

Like the diplomats, Kirby said the administration may be looking for political cover. The hardliners are already emboldened.

The official concluded, "I'm not sure that's a compelling case to stay in the JCPOA and continue to provide the sanctions relief that is fueling Iran's belligerent and unsafe behavior".

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.

In his comments Wednesday, Tillerson criticized Iran for its hostility toward Israel, its sponsorship of Houthi rebels in Yemen and its backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But Majidyar argued that scrapping the deal wouldn't help Washington.

The other countries that were part of the deal - Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, along with the European Union - remain supportive of the pact and would likely object to any re-imposition of American sanctions.

Those parties have been talking for some time to the United Nations watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency about clarifying various aspects of the deal that were ambiguous to ensure stricter implementation, the first diplomat said.

Still, the administration has sought since its first days in office to ratchet up pressure on Iran. "If he didn't, if he thought everything was fine he would've allowed this to move forward".

In the Middle East, Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday told reporters who asked about Iran's role in Yemen and elsewhere that, "Everywhere you look, if there's trouble in the region, you find Iran".

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