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20 April 2017, 09:55 | Terri Saunders
Trump administration to launch review on lifting of Iran sanctions
The Trump administration's inter-agency review of policy towards Iran will examine whether the lifting of sanctions against Tehran is in the USA national security interests.
On Tuesday, Tillerson said in a letter to speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan that while Iran was fulfilling its obligations under the JCPOA, a review was ordered to establish whether suspension of anti-Iranian sanctions corresponded to US security interests.
Iran has named 29 companies from more than a dozen countries as being allowed to bid for oil and gas projects using the new, less restrictive Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) model, the oil ministry news website SHANA reported yesterday (2 January).
In February, Trump had described the nuclear deal with Iran as "the worst" agreement ever negotiated, calling the Islamic Republic the world's "number one terrorist state".
Commenting on the Secretary of State's remarks, Bob Corker, a GOP Senator and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said: "Secretary Tillerson made clear that, regardless of Iran's technical compliance with the nuclear deal, the administration is under no illusion about the continued threat from Tehran and is prepared to work closely with Congress to push back".
On Wednesday, Mr Tillerson repeated the Trump administration's view that "strategic patience is a failed approach". "This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat that we face from North Korea".
Barack Obama argued the deal, between Iran and six world powers including China, Russia and the United Kingdom, was the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
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In his tweet, Zarif also addressed Tillerson's terrorism charge: "Worn-out USA accusations can't mask its admission of Iran's compliance w/ JCPOA".
"Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to global peace and security", Tillerson said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had criticised the deal.
Tillerson's comments were synonymous with Donald Trump's rhetoric, who on many occasions - during his presidential campaign and afterwards - criticised the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the United States, the UK, Russia, France, China and Germany.
"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.
The disagreement between Obama and Netanyahu over the deal had strained US-Israel ties and Obama-Netanyahu relationship.
The deal's critics, though, say it fails to achieve even that goal because key restrictions on Iran's nuclear development sunset after a decade or more.
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