USA accuses Iran of 'alarming provocations'

Any discussion of Iran is incomplete without mentioning the JCPOA. "It is nothing less than unnerving for the Secretary of State to ignore the advice of almost all security experts, foreign and domestic, on the efficacy of the nuclear deal".

Yet the US Department of State maintained that an interagency review of the Iran deal was being conducted due to concerns regarding the Islamic Republic's continued role as a state sponsor of terrorism.

He specifically cited Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and for Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as hostility to Israel, the harassment of USA naval vessels plying the Persian Gulf and cyberattacks against the United States and its allies in the Gulf.

In the first reaction to Tillerson's remarks from a senior Iranian official, Zarif tweeted that the United States should "fulfill its own commitments".

And last month, Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of US Central Command, which oversees the American wars and interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia, denounced Iran as the "greatest long-term threat to stability" in the Middle East and advocated a campaign to "disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means".

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

Former US President Barack Obama had said the deal would make the world safer and more secure.

Tillerson's comments on Wednesday came just a day after the State Department said Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement. Even supporters of Rouhani see it as an attempt by the Trump administration to thwart his chances of a second term as Iranian president in elections set for May 19.

Tillerson said the agreement ignored other threats posed by Iran, including its support for terrorist groups and destabilizing regional activities in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Apart from that, Iran undertook not to manufacture weapons-grade plutonium, to have not more than 300 kilograms of 3.67% enriched uranium in a period of 15 years, to reshape nuclear facilities and use them exclusively in peaceful purposes. Obama and others argued it was narrowly tailored to take the most unsafe prospect - a nuclear-armed Iran - off the table.

The six powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with the involvement from the European Union have set aside Iran's alleged support to 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 United Nations weapons inspectors.

In the latest sign of U.S.

The agreement to limit Iran's nuclear programme was widely denounced by Republicans, who tried to block the deal in the US Senate. They say it didn't bring the commercial success Rouhani promised and that doing a deal with America was bound to backfire. Undoubtedly, certification of Iran's compliance complicates the picture for an administration keen on unsettling the deal - as it will frustrate efforts to build an global consensus in support of the re-imposition of USA sanctions - but JCPOA proponents would be wise not to over-interpret Tuesday night's certification and assume that the Trump administration has come to its sense regarding the merits of the accord.



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