Tillerson declares the Iran nuclear deal a failure
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the Middle East and undermining America's interests in the region.
"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods", Tillerson wrote. But Tillerson added that the current administration would evaluate whether the lifting of sanctions that had been placed on Iran "is vital to the national security interests of the United States".
"Note that under the Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the president has to provide certification every 90 days".
When Spicer was questioned whether Trump was concerned Iran was cheating on the deal, he said "That's why he's asking for this review".
The historic deal between Iran and six major powers restricts Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide oil and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
During his presidential campaign, Trump called the agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated", raising questions over whether he would rip up the agreement once he took office.
Soon, President Trump must decide whether to extend executive order waivers the Obama administration used to suspend some of the non-nuclear sanctions imposed on Iran and how scrupulously to hold Iran to account for infractions of the JCPOA.
The deal between Iran, the United States, and other world powers last July made the mistake of "buying off a power that has nuclear ambitions" for a short time and then leaving the problem to future generations to resolve, Tillerson said.
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. As with North Korea, Tillerson said, the Trump administration is unwilling to be patient with Iran, ticking through a list of countries where he said Iran supports terrorism and violence.
As part of the nuclear accord, the US has committed to provide sanctions relief if Iran meets its obligations and the secretary of state will retain the authority to waive all nuclear-related sanctions authorized by the legislation.
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.
The whiplash left Republicans on Capitol Hill, who had universally excoriated the agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program and voted against its implementation, uncertain how to respond. There is little room to interpret this statement as anything less than a proclamation of the Trump administration's intent to scrap the nuclear deal and reset the United States on a path to war.
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.
The evidence is clear: "Iran's provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world". White House press secretary described the attention as a sign that Trump believes there are problems with the deal.