Rex Tillerson calls Iran nuclear deal a failure

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Washington, April 20: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has termed the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran a failure, and said the US is carrying out a comprehensive review of its policy towards the country. Tillerson said the deal fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran and only 'delays' its goal of becoming a nuclear state.

File photo of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

"This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face from North Korea. The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran," he said at a hurriedly convened press briefing on Wednesday.

Tillerson's comments came a day after the Trump administration notified Congress that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama and it has extended the sanctions relief given to the Islamic country in exchange for curbs on its atomic programme. However, in a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Tillerson said that the administration has ordered an inter-agency review of whether the suspension of sanctions was in the US' national security interests. He also described the country as a 'leading state sponsor of terror'.

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it. The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach," he said.

Tillerson also levelled a series of accusations at Iran -intensifying multiple conflicts including the one in Syria, undermining US interests in several countries, continuing to support attacks against Israel, sponsoring cyber and terror attacks across the world.

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

The six powers that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal -the US, China, Russia, France, Germany and the UK, with the involvement from the European Union, set aside Iran's alleged support for terrorism in order to get a deal guaranteeing that the country would not be able to build a nuclear weapon for a decade and would remain under the eye of UN weapons inspectors.

PTI

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