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US Accuses Iran of 'Alarming Provocations'

Trump has ordered review of policy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2017 12:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rex Tillerson wants Iran to know that the US hasn't forgotten about it amid current difficulties with Syria, Russia, and North Korea. He accused the country of "alarming ongoing provocations" Wednesday, the day after the Trump administration began a government-wide review of Iran policy, Reuters reports. Tillerson called Iran "the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism" and accused it of "intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon," the BBC reports. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also talked tough on Iran Wednesday, saying Tehran's influence would need to be overcome before the conflict in Yemen would end.

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Tillerson did, however, acknowledge that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal. It's not clear whether President Trump still plans to make good on his promise to scrap or renegotiate the deal, a move that could cost US companies billions, the AP reports. Tillerson did say that the deal "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran," and only "delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state." He warned that the Trump administration has no intention of "passing the buck" on Iran, which he linked to North Korea. "An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea—and to take the world along with it," Tillerson said. (Trump warned in February that Iran had been put "on notice.")

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