President Donald J. Trump may have just signaled to the Iranians they could be next for either renewed sanctions from the United States and allies, or worse, for violating the “spirit” of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal.
During a press conference last week with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Trump voiced extreme concerns about Tehran’s overall commitment to the deal, which critics have panned, saying it only delays an eventual Iranian nuclear bomb.
Trump’s comments came on the heels of earlier statements made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerman, who also indicated in comments last week that the Iranians may be cheating. As reported by CNBC, Tillerson said the U.S. would be conducting a “comprehensive review” of the deal, using language that he has also used to describe previous U.S. administrations’ inability to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. (RELATED: Read Trump Has Several Options For Dealing With North Korea – And None Of Them Are Good.)
“The Trump administration is currently conducting, across the entire government, a review of our Iran policy … an unchecked Iran has the potential to follow the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it. The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach,” he said.
Tillerson also said the Trump administration would consider breaking from the deal, which was finalized in 2015, a decision that depended on if, and to what extent, the Iranians have deviated from its provisions.
Also, the U.S. is concerned about Iran’s continued support of terrorism and terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.
He added that like the North, the Iran deal was indicative of a pattern by the U.S. and its allies of “buying off” belligerent states to keep them from joining the nuclear club, but it never works.
“We buy them off for a short period of time, and then someone has to deal with it later,” Tillerson said.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be a massively destabilizing force in the Middle East, one of the most volatile regions on the planet and strategically important, given its huge oil reserves. If Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, then other nations like Saudi Arabia may also be tempted to do so, reports have said.
“We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as that,” one Saudi official said in 2011, the Jerusalem Post reported at the time. “If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit.”
At his presser with Gentiloni, Trump added that his read of the Iranian nuclear deal is that it isn’t likely to prevent Tehran from developing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. And he also said it already looks as though Iran is not complying with the terms of the deal.
“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said. “And we’re analyzing it very, very carefully, and we’ll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future. But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that.”
He added that Tehran was engaged in a “tremendous disservice” to themselves by continuing to provide funding for terrorist groups and regimes, as well as testing longer-range ballistic missiles and fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country’s civil war.”
He said that provisions of the nuclear deal should have dealt with things like that before it was ever signed. But as observers of the deal have noted, it appears as though Obama was more interested in a “legacy” than actually cutting a deal beneficial to Western interests. (RELATED: Read Declassified List Reveals U.S. Targets Russia’s High Density Population Centers With Nuclear Weapons… Russia Likely Does The Same For The USA.)
“It was a terrible agreement,” the president said. “That shouldn’t have been signed. It shouldn’t have been negotiated the way it was negotiated.
“I’m all for agreements, but that was a bad one – as bad as I’ve ever seen negotiated,” he added.
As for what actions the administration may take in the future to check Iran, analysts have said two recent uses of force – the massive Tomahawk cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base and the use of the largest non-nuclear ordnance in the U.S. military’s stockpile against an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan – were meant to send a message to Tehran of the United States’ capabilities.
Keep up with this story as it develops at NationalSecurity.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.