The White House has announced a full review of the 2015 decision to lift sanctions against Iran. The agreement to stop a series of painful economic penalties was a key component of the nuclear deal brokered by former President Barack Obama after decades of deep animosity between Washington and Tehran.
"President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran …is vital to the security interests of the United States," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
Tillerson made his statement to Congress as part of an announcement that Iran had been found compliant with its end of the deal through April 18, a certification that must be made every 90 days. It was the first time the announcement had been issued since Trump took office in January.
Trump: Outspoken critic of the deal
Tillerson remarked that as Iran was still a major state sponsor of terrorism, the president had ordered a thorough review of the impact lifting sanctions had on American security. Trump was an outspoken critic of the deal on the campaign trail in 2016.
The framework for the deal was announced in April 2015, after extensive negotiations between not only Iran and the US, but Russia, the UK, France, China, Germany and the European Union. The Western powers agreed to roll back sanctions in exchange for guarantees that Iran would not try to develop nuclear weapons.
Hailed as a major leap forward in a longstanding diplomatic conflict, the deal is considered one of the most important foreign policy successes of Obama's presidency.
es/cmk (AP, Reuters)