The Trump administration is weighing whether to effectively break the terms of a landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said late Tuesday.
While campaigning for president, Donald Trump repeatedly called the agreement “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Contradictory statements as to whether Trump would scrap it entirely or simply vigilantly enforce it raised questions about how he would proceed once in office.
Tillerson notified Congress that despite finding that Iran is in compliance with the agreement, the White House is looking at whether the U.S. should break with the deal because of Iran’s continued support of terrorism.
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the secretary of state said that “Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods.”
The six powers that negotiated the deal which went into effect in January 2016 — the U.S., China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, with involvement from the European Union — set aside Iran’s alleged support for terrorism in order to get a deal guaranteeing that Iran would not be able to build a nuclear weapon for a decade and would remain under the eye of U.N. inspectors.
Although billions of dollars of Iran’s assets were unfrozen as a result of the negotiations, U.S. sanctions against Iran because of their support of terrorism were not considered to be part of the agreement.
The certification of Iran’s compliance, which must be sent to Congress every 90 days, is the first issued by the Trump administration. The deadline for the certification was midnight.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: NBC News, Andrea Mitchell and Phil Helsel