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How President Trump Has Changed His Tune on Global Deals

How President Trump Has Changed His Tune on Global Deals

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday called the Obama-led Iran nuclear deal a failure and said that if Tehran remained "unchecked", then it could become another North Korea.

Earlier on Wednesday, the White House announced President Donald Trump had ordered a 90-day interagency review of the JCPOA that will evaluate Iran's compliance with the deal. Earlier this week, Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC: "We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", and warned of an "all-out war" if the USA engaged in military action.

Tillerson noted that Washington "has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran".

"Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to worldwide peace and security", Tillerson said.

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However, the U.S. admits that Tehran is complying with the 2015 agreement. The administration said it has extended the sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Iran also "maintains a long-standing hostility towards Israel, providing weapons, training and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations", said the secretary of state, citing reports that Iran displayed a missile inscribed "death to Israel" during a military parade on Tuesday.

Under this agreement, Iran stated that it would not further seek to develop or acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for the gradual lifting of global sanctions. He also described the country as a "leading state sponsor of terror".

"The evidence is clear: Iran's provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world", he said.

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Israel was one of the most outspoken opponents of the Iran nuclear accord struck between Iran and six major world powers after marathon talks in Vienna in 2015. It is the first update under the Trump administration.

Tillerson's hastily arranged statement before cameras at the State Department reflected the competing forces pulling at the Trump administration as it develops its policy toward Iran.

The nuclear agreement only delayed, but would not halt, Tehran's efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon, Tillerson said, warning Iran's "nuclear ambitions are a threat to the world's peace and security".

"I'm glad this deal has held up to this point, and I hope it continues to hold up", said Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state who was deeply involved in negotiating terms of the deal during the Obama administration.

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Iran has defended its nuclear programme as purely civilian. But neither Iran nor the other world powers that negotiated the agreement have any interest in reopening the deal, and USA companies stand to lose billions if the deal is scuttled. He had said in January 2016, after the deal was implemented, that "Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb".