Tillerson Recertifies Iran's compliance to nuclear agreement

Later in the interview, Zarif said President Trump's Middle East policy was "misplaced and misguided" because he favors Iran's rival Saudi Arabia.

"We have determined that we need to approach those things more stringently to ensure that Iran is complying with a stricter interpretation of what the [deal] requires", the official said. And he returned to that theme often during the presidential race, describing the deal as "catastrophic", among other things.

The last certification of Iranian compliance, in April, was also followed by a new round of sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies the administration said played a role in ballistic missile tests that are not covered by the nuclear agreement.

Those alleged threats include Iranian work on developing ballistic missiles, support for organizations classified as terrorist, support for the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime during the bloody six year civil war, various cyber-attacks on the USA, and general hostility towards Israel.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson notified Congress of his determination that Iran is still meeting the conditions of the nuclear accord, "based on information available to the United States", said a senior administration official Monday night.

Yet the deal is deeply unpopular among many conservatives. If the administration finds that Terhan has failed to meet its obligations, it can restore the sanctions that were lifted by the agreement. "Iran has been complying".

He answered questions at the council ahead of the State Department announcement.

During his election campaign Trump denounced the deal - reached under former president Barack Obama - and promised to renegotiate it and get tough on Iran. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, the chief of staff for Iran's armed forces, said in Sepah News, an official news site of the Guards.

Ultimately, the president's decision was the same on the substance to what his administration had been planning all along.

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Iran in the past has complained that USA administration has failed to lift sanctions in line with the deal.

Many White House officials have argued that Iran should be punished for its support of terrorism and development of missile technology in addition to its nuclear activities. "So we don't know which one to interpret in what way".

Zarif said the International Atomic Energy Agency, "which is hardly a sympathizer for Iran", has verified its compliance with the agreement.

The Trump administration, however, is considering imposing new sanctions on Iran in the future, including those related to Tehran's missile program and human rights violations, the official added. The administration has charged Iran with using military patrol boats to impede free navigation in the Persian Gulf.

The Obama administration signed the JCPOA in 2015 to limit Iran's ability to create nuclear weapons in exchange for an easing of sanctions against the country.

In mid-June the Senate voted for new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the worldwide nuclear agreement.

The senators further accused Iran of waging "a campaign of regional aggression", sponsoring global terrorism, developing ballistic missile technology, and oppressing its own people.

Other signatories to the nuclear deal - Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union - have indicated that they believe it is working.

Vanessa Coleman

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