The Trump administration told Congress late Monday that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal it reached with the United States and five other world powers in 2015 to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions.
But it said Tehran would face consequences for breaching “the spirit” of the deal.
President Trump, who vowed to dismantle the agreement while he was a presidential candidate, has given himself more time to determine whether to let it stand.
Trump officials said the administration was working with U.S. allies to try to fix the deal’s flaws, including the expiration of some nuclear restrictions after a decade or more.
The officials also said the U.S. would slap Tehran with new sanctions penalizing it for developing ballistic missiles and other activity.
Those “malign activities” include support for terrorism, the Washington Post reported.
“We judge that these Iranian activities severely undermine the intent” of the agreement as a force for international stability, an official said, according to WaPo.
The official said that Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and “the entire administration judge that Iran is unquestionably in default of the spirit” of the agreement.
The assessment carries no legal force. Trump’s certification that Iran is technically complying clears the way for sanctions to remain lifted.
“We receive contradictory signals,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday before the decision was announced. “So we don’t know which one to interpret in what way.”
The latest assessment comes after Tillerson said in April that Iran’s behavior was still concerning, despite its compliance with the nuclear deal.
Tillerson listed several U.S. grievances over Iran’s actions in the Middle East including…