Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later said that he agreed with this remark and said the deal was a failure.
Before these remarks, the department said: “The U.S. Department of State certified to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan today that Iran is compliant through April 18th with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
However, this is not a contradiction or mixed message from within the Trump administration. Iran is carrying out numerous violations of human rights on a daily basis and is the biggest exporter of terror. It is meddling in the internal affairs of other countries in the region and is fuelling wars in several countries, including Syria.
Experts also say that the Iranian regime is carrying out clandestine work on a nuclear weapon – something that started before the nuclear deal was signed and is still continuing to this day. Although there is nothing to specifically ban this in the nuclear deal, it clearly goes against the spirit of the deal.
Political commentator, Charles Krauthammer, pointed out that there are three things needed in order for a nuclear weapon to become usable. Firstly, fissile material, then a way in which it can be made into a weapon, and thirdly, ballistic missiles.
He said: “The problem is that the Obama administration looked only at the fissile element. But what the Iranians are doing – and this is so obvious a child could see it – is while the program on the fissile material is frozen, they’re working rapidly on the weaponization … and of course on the ballistic missiles, which we can see.”
He too agreed that it was clear Iran is violating the spirit of the agreement by continuing to develop a nuclear weapon. He said: “Yes, they are developing a nuclear weapon. It’s a violation of the ‘spirit’ of agreement, because the way they look at it, in half a decade, they’ll be able to resume the fissile material – the enriching uranium – they will have weaponized, and they will have the missiles.”
Iran has also recently revived a request to import 950 tons of natural uranium. During the final few weeks of his presidency, Obama had agreed, but it was blocked by the United Kingdom. There are calls for President Trump to deny the request. Several White House officials have already expressed their opposition to the request.