U.S. to remain in nuclear agreement for ‘time being’: Tillerson

December 14, 2017

TEHRAN – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has softened President Donald Trump’s harsh stance on the Iran nuclear deal, saying Washington would remain in the 2015 accord “for the time being”.

“We have concerns about whether that agreement's going to deliver on its objective but for the time being, we're in agreement,” Tillerson told dozens of U.S. diplomats, New York Daily News reported.

He made the remarks during a town hall-style meeting with career diplomats at the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.

The nuclear deal was signed between Iran, the European Union, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – in July 2015. The agreement went into effect in January 2016.

Back in October, Trump declined to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, which he has described as “the dumbest and most dangerous” deal made in the “history of our country”. 

That gave Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the JCPOA.

The U.S. president also asked Congress to decide about the fate of the agreement, vowing to terminate the deal if Congress did not impose new sanctions on Iran.

Congressional and White House aides said on Tuesday that the Congress will allow the deadline on reimposing sanctions on Iran to pass, leaving the JCPOA intact, Reuters reported.

Despite Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog – has issued nine regular reports each time confirming Iran’s adherence to the international deal.  

Iranian officials have time and again highlighted Tehran’s compliance with the JCPOA, and threatened to take retaliatory actions if the other side abandons the deal.

MH/PA

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