Tillerson: The Iran deal has to change

Secretary of State says the Iran nuclear agreement must be changed or the U.S. will not be able to remain part of it.

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Elad Benari,

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson
Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear agreement must be changed in order for the United States to be able to remain part of it.

“I think we’re all well familiar with the flaws of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the most glaring flaw is the sunset provision. We all know that this is a merely a ‘kick the can down the road’ agreement,” said Tillerson.

“We just spoke about North Korea and this is what governments in the past did with North Korea. They entered into agreements that were short lived or easily cheated on, and I think that’s the President’s assessment of the Iranian nuclear agreement.”

“It’s not a stiff enough agreement. It doesn’t slow their program enough and holding them accountable is difficult under the agreement, but most importantly the agreement comes to an end, so we can almost start the countdown clock as to when they will resume their nuclear weapons capability,” the Secretary of State noted.

“If we’re going to stick with the Iran deal there has to be changes made to it. The sunset provisions simply is not a sensible way forward,” Tillerson stressed.

President Donald Trump “really wants to redo that deal, renegotiate it. We do need the support of our allies to make the case as well to Iran that this deal really has to be revisited,” he concluded.

Trump, who has long been a vocal critic of the Iranian nuclear deal, repeated his criticism of the deal in his speech at the UN General Assembly earlier on Tuesday.

He called the deal "an embarrassment" to the U.S. and "one of worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

Trump also criticized the deal last week, saying Iran was violating the spirit of the agreement.

On October 15, Trump is due to decide whether Iran has breached the 2015 nuclear agreement. He recently confirmed that Iran is adhering to the nuclear agreement, but he and other officials in the administration stressed that the President still has reservations about the deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday warned that the United States will pay a "high cost" if President Donald Trump scraps the Iran nuclear deal.

Such an action by the Trump administration "will yield no results for the United States but at the same time it will generally decrease and cut away and chip away at international trust placed in the Unites States of America," he said.