CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing
CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearingReuters

US Central Intelligence Agency chief Gina Haspel today said Iran is still abiding by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal despite the US pullout from the multinational agreement, reports AFP. "At the moment technically they are in compliance" with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Haspel told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I think the most recent information is the Iranians are considering taking steps that would lessen their adherence to JCPOA as they seek to pressure the Europeans to come through with the investment and trade benefits that Iran hoped to gain from the deal," she said.

"They're making some preparations that would increase their ability to take a step back if they make that decision," she noted.

"But we do see them debating amongst themselves as they failed to realize the economic benefits that they hoped for from the deal."

The United States withdrew from JCPOA on May 8, 2018, after President Donald Trump concluded it was not in US interests. The administration said the trade would finance Iran's military, and no guarantee it would not resume nuclear weapons development after the deal expired.

The Trump Administration has said it "will not hesitate" to punish foreign companies that refuse to comply with US sanctions on Iran.

“We will not hesitate to take action when we see sanctionable activity and that is consistent with our policy of economic and diplomatic isolation against Iran," said State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook on Monday.