Iran sticking to nuclear deal so far, says U.S.

Washington’s U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, however, warned Tehran was still helping fuel conflict and remained a threat

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Washington’s U.N. ambassador Samantha Power said Monday that compliance with the Iran nuclear deal was so far “strong”, but warned Tehran was still helping fuel conflict and remained a threat.

“What this deal does if implemented - and so far the implementation has been strong but it’s very early days - is it cuts off the pathways to a nuclear weapon and it gives us much more visibility into Iran’s program than we had before,” Power told students during a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

She added later that “Iran of course is still a threat. Iran is supporting terrorism. Iran is supporting parties to conflict like the Assad regime (in Syria)”.

Last July’s Vienna agreement between Iran and the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5 plus one) sees sanctions lifted in return for Tehran ensuring its nuclear program remains for civilian use.

Israel strongly opposed the deal with its arch-foe, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning it would not block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons.

He also said lifting sanctions would allow Iran to further back proxy militants in the region, including Israeli enemies such as Hezbollah.

Netanyahu’s outspoken criticism of the accord, particularly in a speech to the U.S. Congress, led to a rift with U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.

He has since scaled back his rhetoric, and the United States and Netanyahu’s government are currently negotiating a new 10-year defense aid package expected to be an increase over the current $3.1 billion Israel receives annually.

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