Iran still a nuke threat

18 July, 2017, 06:26 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • Donald Trump Benjamin Netanyahu

President Donald Trump's administration on Monday declared that Iran was complying with its nuclear agreement with world powers, but warned that Tehran was in default of the spirit of the accord and that Washington would look for ways to strengthen it. But at the same time Trump continues to denounce it as a "bad deal" and has been ratcheting up sanctions on Iran over other matters. Trump had faced a congressionally mandated deadline of Monday to decide. He said Iranian officials had regular contact with USA officials regarding a 2015 deal between Tehran and key world powers to curb its nuclear program. Officials pointed to other, non-nuclear threats, including complicity in the atrocities committed by the Assad regime in Syria, freedom of navigation waterways in the Middle East, cyberattacks against the United States and other countries, and the arbitrary detention of foreign nationals, including USA citizens.

"The president and the secretary of state judge that these Iranian activities severely undermine the intent of the JCPOA, which was to contribute to regional and worldwide peace and security". S. should withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The last certification of Iranian compliance, in April, was also followed by a new round of sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies the administration said played a role in ballistic missile tests that are not covered by the nuclear agreement. The US agreed to remove economic sanctions in return for limiting Iran's nuclear enrichment stockpile.

Zarif insisted that Iran's missiles are only intended for self-defense and he sarcastically compared Iran's home-made missiles with the expensive arms that the United States is supplying its main rival in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, under a recently announced $110 billion arms deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was tasked with making sure Iran complied with the deal, and has reported that the country has done so.

In fact, the Trump administration's moves to ratchet up non-nuclear sanctions on Iran since taking office - along with legislation that recently passed the U.S. Senate to increase non-nuclear sanctions on Iran - "creates the impression in Iran that the United States' hostility toward Iran will never end", Zarif said. In the meantime, officials said, they will work with allies to come to a common agreement on its flaws.

"Iran is a serious partner for all these countries in fighting a common enemy because we believe at the end of the day. these extremist forces are as much a threat against us, but even more a threat against them", Zarif said.



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