Tillerson: Iran in "technical compliance" with nuclear deal, but problems remain

Lester Mason
September 22, 2017

He said Trump is looking at the entire situation in Iran, not just its nuclear program, when deciding on the deal. "It was not an angry tone at all, it was a very, very matter-of-fact exchange about how we see this deal very differently". President Donald Trump has called "an embarrassment" but which is supported by the other major powers that negotiated it with Iran, could upend relations in the Middle East and trigger a regional arms race.

In 2015, Iran reached an agreement with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. to curtail most of its atomic programme in return for lifting of some economic sanctions.

Iran has ruled out talks with the USA on revisiting a 2015 nuclear accord as "waste of time", the media reported.

What that means practically is not clear, much like the rest of Trump's foreign policy nine months into his presidency.

"We have a lot of issues with Iran, they're...a yard long, the nuclear issue is only one foot of that yard", he said.

However, since then, Tehran has built up its retaliatory capacity, with the outcome that any conflict between the USA and Iran would ensure a knockdown effect on the region, including on regimes that have for generations been allied with London and thereafter Washington.

"We've taken a holistic look at this", McMaster said.

Tillerson was asked what message North Korea should draw from the United States attempt to renegotiate an agreement that has already been settled. "And we have to recognize the fundamental flaws in this deal".

On the Iran deal, Netanyahu could only be pleased at what he heard.


But North Korea, not Iran, is likely to dominate Trump's address later in the day.

Tillerson was asked later whether he could have a similar discussion with a North Korean representative.

Newt Gingrich, a Trump supporter and former House speaker, on Monday told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" that China and Russian Federation "risk a real war on their borders" if North Korea continues to go unchecked. "This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear program and potentially prevented a military intervention".

As he met Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump was asked if he would pull the USA out of the agreement.

Trump may decertify Iran's compliance within this framework, giving him potential leverage on the regime to try and negotiate the deal or face crippling US economic sanctions.

Mohammad Golshan, who was born in Iran but has lived in Toronto for three decades, said his belief is that the American administration "should not deal with the Iranian government". And he slammed Trump's lack of political experience in challenging the accord.

As a candidate for president, Trump labeled the U.N.as weak and incompetent, and not a friend of either the United States or Israel.

Tillerson also described North Korea's recent missile and nuclear tests as "very disturbing", but insisted he saw "early signs" of United Nations sanctions against the Communist regime taking effect. "Every peace-keeping mission has to have clearly defined goal". He took to Twitter to offer a glimpse of what may be in store for future exchanges with US officials, including perhaps with Tillerson on Wednesday. Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday that 129 have done so.

She said that, "it's not for one party or the other to certify this". Had the agenda been expanded to include regional questions such as Syria, Tehran could split the major powers as Russian Federation and China were closer to Iran on that question than to Washington. Cutting their costs and making them more effective is a top priority for Haley.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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