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Donald Trump says Iran isn't meeting 'spirit' of 2015 nuclear deal

22 April 2017

Tillerson on Wednesday sought to head off any criticism that the administration was being easy on Iran, describing a broad administration review of Iran policy that includes the nuclear deal and examines if sanctions relief serves USA interests.

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. Tillerson repeated the stance at a Wednesday press conference, warning that Iranian nuclear ambitions could emulate those of North Korea.

The certification of Iran's compliance, which must be sent to Congress every 90 days, is the first issued by the Trump administration.

Trump's National Security Council (NSC) now is evaluating whether Iran - as it maintains it has - is in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, and if the U.S. can impose sanctions. He said the National Security Council-led interagency review of the agreement will evaluate whether it "is vital to the national security interests of the United States".

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That statement is designed as a break of former President Barack Obama's foreign policy, which ignored Iran's hostile actions in the name of reaching a nuclear deal that most Republicans criticized.

At a joint news conference on Thursday, he said Iran was failing to fulfill the "spirit" of its nuclear deal with world powers and that the 2015 agreement shouldn't have been signed.

Lu, while not directly referring to Tillerson's comments, said China hopes all parties could ensure the nuclear deal was implemented, appropriately handle disagreements and make positive contributions to nuclear non-proliferation and peace and stability in the Middle East. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said money for Trump's border wall must be part of the legislation, along with funds to hire more immigration agents.

On Iran, Trump and his top officials have been walking a narrow line as they seek to show an aggressive stance.

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Even the nuclear deal's proponents have acknowledged that it has limitations.

During his campaign, Donald Trump said that his "number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran". "We will see what happens", Trump said.

"We don't know whether or not they're able to do that, but I have absolute confidence that he will be trying very, very hard, " Trump said. The administration said it has extended the sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme. The agreement was effectively dead before Trump took office after Congress refused to ratify it. Key restrictions it places on Iran's enrichment of uranium for potential use in nuclear bombs, for example, are scheduled to end in a decade.

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