Tillerson: Iran deal a 'failure'

Secretary of State criticizes Iran nuclear deal, announces comprehensive review of the agreement.

Elad Benari ,

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday criticized the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, announcing that the Trump administration is conducting a “comprehensive review” of the agreement.

Speaking at a press briefing at the State Department and quoted by Fox News, Tillerson said the Iran deal “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran,” and only delays it becoming a nuclear state.

He faulted the agreement for “buying off” a foreign power with nuclear ambitions, adding, “We just don’t see that that’s a prudent way to be dealing with Iran.”

“Iran spends its treasure and time disrupting peace,” continued Tillerson. “Iran’s nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to international peace and security.”

While he did not definitively say whether the administration is inclined to uphold or scrap the deal, Tillerson said they will meet the challenge of Iran with “clarity and conviction” once the review is done.

“The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran,” he said, according to Fox News, adding the deal represents the “failed approach” of the past.

The briefing came hours after Tillerson sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, in which he wrote that the Trump Administration had certified that Iran is in compliance with the deal it signed with world powers to rein in its nuclear program.

During the election campaign, Trump was highly critical of the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was “disastrous” and pledging to annul it.

After he was sworn in as president, Trump described the nuclear deal as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated” and accused the Islamic Republic of “disrespecting” the United States because of the deal.

However, a senior adviser to Trump toned down those comments last month, saying the United States will continue to adhere to the deal and “will also work very hard to make sure that Iran does.”