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Trump: Iran not ‘living up to spirit’ of nuclear deal

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Iran is “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, warning America would set out a position on that soon.

“Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that,” he said in a joint news conference in the White House with Italy’s visiting prime minister Paolo Gentiloni. “We’re analyzing it very, very carefully and will have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iran and the United States traded barbs over the 2015 nuclear deal on Thursday, with the US leader accusing Tehran of not living up to the spirit of the accord and Iran’s top diplomat urging Washington to fulfill its own commitments.

The exchange came a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to Congress saying Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal but raising questions about Tehran’s role in sponsoring terrorism in the region.

Tillerson accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize countries in the Middle East and said the Trump administration had launched a review of its policy toward Tehran that will include the 2015 nuclear deal.

In the first reaction to Tillerson’s remarks from a senior Iranian official, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted that the United States should “fulfill its own commitments.”

Asked at a news conference in Washington whether he thought Iran was abiding by the nuclear agreement, President Donald Trump criticized the accord, saying it was a “terrible agreement” and Tehran was doing a “tremendous disservice” to the deal.

Under the nuclear deal, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tillerson’s letter on Wednesday was the first such notification since Trump took office.

In his tweet, Zarif also addressed Tillerson’s terrorism charge: “Worn-out US accusations can’t mask its admission of Iran’s compliance w/ JCPOA.” Iran helped to create and continues to fund Hezbollah, the
Lebanese military and political organization which the United States has listed as a terrorist organization.