Trump orders review of lifting sanctions against Iran: Tillerson

Iran and the P5+1 group of global mediators signed a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program on July 14, 2015 in Vienna.

The Trump administration said on Tuesday it was launching an inter-agency review of whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the United States' national security interests, while acknowledging that Tehran was complying with a deal to rein in its nuclear program.

Tillerson added that when the USA administration expects to work jointly with the Congress on the issue once the interagency review is over.

The White House must send certification of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA to Congress every 90 days, and it was the first issued by the Trump administration. During last year's presidential campaign Trump called for dismantling or renegotiating the deal.

President Trump's administration has agreed to continue easing sanctions on Iran as it announced a review of the policy.

The 2015 deal between Iran and six major powers restricts Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of worldwide economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany - sealed the JCPOA in July 2015 following 18 months of intense negotiations.

Trump has panned the agreement, saying it still would allow Iran to eventually build nuclear weapons.

On Monday, Foreign Policy reported a senior White House official had told them the Trump administration was debating whether to impose harsher sanctions on Iran, possibly by "broadening US sanctions to include much larger chunks of the Iranian economy linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)". Obama, Kerry and others who negotiated the deal strenuously defended its terms and said the agreement made Israel, the Middle East and the world a safer place. Republicans in Congress also have been critics and have advocated imposing new sanctions on Iran for supporting terrorism and for its ballistic missile programs.

  • Leroy Wright