US-Iran tensions: Washington accuses Tehran of "alarming ongoing provocations"

20 Apr 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Gaurav

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" to destabilize the Middle East and undermining America's interests in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The statement comes as the Trump administration launched a review of the US-Iran policy.

Tillerson said the review would consider both, Iran's compliance to the 2015 nuclear deal and its actions in the Middle East.

In context: US reviewing Iran nuclear deal

IranIran's nuclear programme

Mohamed Reza Shah initiated Iran's nuclear program during the 1950s.

Currently, Iran has a robust nuclear infrastructure, including uranium mining, milling, conversion, and enrichment capabilities.

Iran has 2 operational uranium mines, an unknown number of research facilities, a research reactor and three known uranium enrichment plants.

Its research facility in Fordo is built inside a mountain to withstand any sort of attack including air-strikes.

17 Jan 2016Nuclear deal: US lifts sanctions on Iran

International sanctions on Iran against its covert nuclear weapons programme have been lifted, after it was confirmed that Iran has complied with key aspects of the nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries.

In a press statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that the sanctions have been lifted.

Kerry stated that "Iran has fully implemented its required commitments" under the nuclear agreement.

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20 Apr 2017US-Iran tensions: Washington accuses Tehran of "alarming ongoing provocations"

Nuclear threatUS: Iran could follow North Korea if unchecked

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea," said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Unlike North Korea, which openly threatens the US and its allies with nuclear attacks, Iran has repeatedly denied the West's allegations of developing nuclear weapons.

The US itself admits Iran has adhered to the nuclear deal, preventing it from developing weapons.

SanctionsUS to review Iran deal despite it holding firm

Tillerson said President Donald Trump had ordered the review of whether suspension of sanctions against Iran under the nuclear deal was crucial to the US' national security interests.

In a letter to Congress, Tillerson wrote that Iran was adhering to its commitments under the nuclear deal.

Yet, he expressed concern over Iran's role as a state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.

Policy changeTrump administration's comprehensive Iran policy idea a departure from Obama's

"A comprehensive Iran policy requires will address all of the threats posed by Iran," Tillerson said.

The comprehensive Iran policy idea is departure form Trump's predecessor, President Obama's policy to separate Iran's support for militant proxies in the Middle East, hostility to Israel and missile tests from the nuclear deal.

Without this separation by Obama, the Iran nuclear deal wouldn't have gone through.

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Deal holdingTrump not planning to end deal despite condemning it previously

Donald Trump has been highly critical of the Iran nuclear deal, having called it the "worst deal ever negotiated."

During his election campaign, Trump had threatened to tear up the deal.

There's no sign that the Trump administration plans to end the nuclear deal.

However, Tillerson has come close to saying the deal is worth keeping, despite admitting that it seems to be working.