News & Politics

Tillerson Says Strategic Patience Has Failed With Iran, North Korea

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the U.S.-Saudi Arabia CEO Summit, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, April 19, 2017.
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U.S. President Donald Trump has directed the National Security Council to review the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and evaluate whether suspending sanctions “is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration was conducting a comprehensive review of its Iran policy across the entire U.S. government. He said this review must address all the threats posed by Iran, adding, “It’s clear there are many.”

Tillerson noted Iran’s continued support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its long-standing hostility toward Israel, and said Tehran has “one of the world’s worst human rights records.”

On the international Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Tillerson said it had failed to achieve its objective of a nuclear-free Iran.

Tillerson made a rare appearance in front of reporters at the State Department, saying, “This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face from North Korea. The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world.”

90-day review

Tillerson had revealed the Iran policy review in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the administration was conducting a 90-day review of the deal.

“The president is directing the National Security Council to lead an inter-agency review of the plan and then evaluate whether suspensions, sanctions related to Iran … are in the vital interest of our national security,” he said.

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