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Tillerson declares the Iran nuclear deal a failure

The Trump administration is reviewing U.S. policy towards Iran, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced, accusing Tehran of sponsoring terrorism and violence and destabilizing numerous countries in the Middle East.

Earlier this week, Tillerson wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan confirming Tehran was abiding by the landmark pact, while adding that the United States will conduct a "comprehensive review" of its policy toward Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Iran has yet to comment on the Trump administration latest round of criticism, but Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has warned that Tehran would retaliate if the United States breached the nuclear agreement.

"The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran", Tillerson told reporters.

The agreement came into force on January 16, 2016, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) submitted a report confirming the readiness of Iran's authorities to implement the program to reduce the country's nuclear potential.

But the top U.S. diplomat stopped short of threatening to jettison the 2015 agreement that was brokered by world powers, or say whether the Trump administration would punish Iran with new sanctions.

However, his predecessor Barack Obama argued the deal, between Iran and six world powers including China, Russia and the United Kingdom, was the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

Critics of the agreement, including Israel, have argued that when some of the terms of the deal expire in 10 and 15 years it will leave Tehran on the threshold of building a bomb.

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Tillerson told reporters the review, which he announced on Tuesday, would not only look at Tehran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behaviour in the region which he said undermined U.S. interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Despite Tillerson's confirmation that Tehran is complying with the the deal, he said the current regime could sow disorder both in the region and worldwide.

"The lack of communication, the return to this sort of decades of policies of coercion and further sanctions and so forth, unfortunately, will not bode well in reducing the friction and animosity between the two countries", Kiyaei said, pointing out that all of this made cooperation more hard at a time when there are many opportunities for it.

Iran has defended its nuclear programme as purely civilian.

Once the National Security Council completes its review of the nuclear deal, Tillerson said, "we will meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction".

"Sanctions equal more friction, and friction brings in power those who are going to be much more able to destabilize the Middle East in the image that they wish", Kiyaei explained, "which goes counter to the interests of the United States and its allies in the region, especially at a time when the Iranian elections are just a few weeks away".

"Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to worldwide peace and security", the secretary of state said.

In their first congratulatory phone calls to Trump after his electoral victory, both President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany stressed the need to keep the Iran deal in place. White House press secretary described the attention as a sign that Trump believes there are problems with the deal.



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