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Tillerson: Iran exports terror and violence to Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon

Tillerson: Iran exports terror and violence to Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" to destabilize countries in the Middle East.

He added that Tehran's nuclear ambitions place a threat on world peace, and it holds the worst record with human rights - highlighting that Iran's danger to the region and world must be seen. "It only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state".

He said: "This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face from North Korea". The administration also said that it has extended the sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the country to continue curbs on its nuclear programme.

The first is how Trump will treat the nuclear agreement that his predecessor, Barack Obama, reached with Iran in 2015.

His tough words matched those of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who said Iran's destabilising influence would have to be overcome to end the conflict in Yemen.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday the United States should meet its own obligations agreed in a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 rather than making accusations against the Islamic Republic.

"The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran", Tillerson contended.

Tillerson also noted that "Iranian naval vessels continue to undermine freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf by harassing U.S. naval vessels".

"We have to look at Iran in a comprehensive way in terms of the threat it poses and all areas of the region and the world".

North Korea said it may test missiles on a weekly basis, and warned of "all-out war" if the USA takes military action.

Tillerson's notice to Congress was part of a 90-day process in which the president has to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration's mix of rhetoric and action - such as the missile strike on Syria's Shayrat airbase earlier this month - has brought a degree of grudging respect from critics who were anxious that Mr Trump's unconventional approach meant the USA would retreat from the world stage.

Tillerson's comments were synonymous with Donald Trump's rhetoric, who on many occasions - during his presidential campaign and afterwards - criticised the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the United States, the UK, Russia, France, China and Germany.


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