Tillerson slams Iran as destabilizing force in Middle East

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"Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel", he said during an appearance at the State Department".

"The U.S. Department of State certified to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan today that Iran is compliant through April 18 with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", Tillerson said in a statement.

As he often had during the president campaign, Trump ripped into the deal struck by Iran, the US and other world powers in 2015 and said "it shouldn't have been signed".

During his presidential campaign, Trump called the agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated", raising questions over whether he would rip up the agreement once he took office.

While disparaging the nuclear deal and accusing Iran of fomenting violence and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Trump has avoided committing to abandoning the agreement, a move that would be staunchly opposed by US businesses and European allies.

"Tillerson claimed Iran had been "behind terrorist attacks throughout the rest of the world" - including a plot to kill Adel al-Jubeir, former Saudi ambassador to the United States".

Candidate Donald Trump made it clear he was not a fan of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Mr Tillerson accused Iran of undermining United States interests in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

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He gave no indication of how long the review would take or what the likely outcome would be. The agreement allowed rich and poor countries to set their own goals to reduce carbon dioxide and went into effect last November, after the U.S., China and other countries ratified it.

US officials have long called Iran the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Obama administration officials, while selling the nuclear deal to Congress, vowed that Iran would roll back its nefarious activities if it received relief from sanctions. He characterized the Obama-era nuclear deal as simply delaying but not destroying Iran's ability to eventually produce a nuclear weapon.

In spoken remarks, though, he talked only of Iran's bad behaviour and linked that to the future of the deal - a message that will resonate far more on Capitol Hill and to which it was probably aimed.

Tillerson added that the JCPOA ignored all other serious threats from Iran.

Make no mistake: this is a huge win for the Obama administration and the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy - the so-called swamp - who desperately want to protect this flawed and unsafe agreement at all costs.

Trump faces a mid-May deadline, as imposed by Congress, to decide whether to continue the suspension of sanctions.

"I think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed", Trump said.

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