Trump Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal: Ways Iran Is Working Against US Interest

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Tuesday's new sanctions targeted 18 Iranian individuals, groups and networks for aiding Iran military and supporting the country's ballistic missile program.

During his election campaign Trump denounced the Obama-era deal, promising to renegotiate it and vowing to get tough on Iran.

"The secretary of state and the president intend to emphasize that Iran remains one of the most unsafe threats to US interests and to regional security", a senior administration official said on a conference call.

The Obama administration joined with five other world powers in 2015 in signing the agreement with Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

"Iran has taken a route that has been prescribed within the nuclear deal, taken it to the joint commission, and we will discuss that in the joint commission to make sure that the shortcomings by the United States are remedied".

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 U.S., and general hostility towards Israel.

The State Department is required to update Congress every 90 days on Iran's adherence to the deal.

The State Department sanctioned two groups linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards it said were involved in ballistic missile research and development, as well as flight test launches.

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"Iran remains one of the most unsafe threats to United States interests and regional stability", the official said".

Despite Iranian compliance with the strict contours of the pact, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson would emphasize the regime "remains one of the most unsafe threats to US interests and to regional stability" while "highlighting the range of malign activities by Iran that extend well beyond the nuclear realm", the official said.

Briefing reporters prior to the announcement, senior administration officials said that though Iran was complying with the letter of the JCPOA, the country is "unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the agreement. Speaking in NY, he noted with regret that the us continues to create "more and more new" sanctions.

As a result, his White House has offered only grudging certification of the deal so far.

Trump has called the deal fatally flawed and said he would either renegotiate it or kill it.

Trump had repeatedly condemned the nuclear deal brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama as a unsafe capitulation to Iran.

Pressed on whether the administration views Iran as a legitimate interlocutor or if they want to be dealing with a different regime, the first official replied, "What we're focused on right now is trying to see a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime".

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