Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear on Wednesday that the Trump administration strongly opposes the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear struck by the Obama administration and world powers.
But he also signaled that the U.S. would not immediately tear up the deal as Donald Trump repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail.
Instead, the Trump administration would conduct a “comprehensive review” of US policy toward Iran, Tillerson said, leaving one of Barack Obama’s signature policies in place — for now.
“An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea, and take the world along with it,” Tillerson said “The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach.”
The remarks follow Tillerson’s notification to Congress on Tuesday that the Trump administration has determined that Iran is complying with the Iran nuclear deal, which put curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. As a candidate, Trump called the agreement the “worst” deal ever made.
Aside from the nuclear deal, Trump accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East and wreaking havoc in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
“The evidence is clear: Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world,” Tillerson said.
He did not say why the Trump administration was not immediately pulling out of the Iran deal, but analysts have pointed out that such action would likely provoke Iran to begin developing its nuclear program again, and result in few benefits for the US or its allies in the region.