“And as a result, the president, secretary of State, and the entire administration judge that Iran is unquestionably in default of the spirit of the JCPOA”.
The senior administration official said the Trump administration meant to employ a strategy that would “address the totality of Iran’s malign behavior” and not just focus on the Iran nuclear agreement.
“We receive contradictory signals, so we don’t know how to interpret it”, Zarif told the Council on Foreign Relations in NY, adding that “Iran is serious about the nuclear deal” and will continue to comply with its restrictions on nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.
The Trump administration certified to Congress late Monday that Iran has continued to meet the required conditions of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers.
“The president and the secretary of State judge that these Iranian activities severely undermine the intent of the JCPOA which was to contribute to regional and worldwide peace and security”, the official said. The administration has charged Iran with using military patrol boats to impede free navigation in the Persian Gulf.
“Continued sanctions, calls from the White House for nations to refrain from investing in Iran, and an increase in military encounters between the United States and Iran all threaten the deal”, the NIAC added.
Earlier in the day, Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin previewed the sanctions in a closed-door meeting with representatives of Washington-based think tanks to which reporters were not invited.
Marking the second anniversary of the historic agreement aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres has commended Tehran for implementing its nuclear-related commitments. But at the same time Trump continues to denounce it as a “bad deal” and has been ratcheting up sanctions on Iran over other matters.
Zarif said he has not as yet spoken with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is reviewing US policy toward Iran, but he is open to doing so.
Those alleged threats include Iranian work on developing ballistic missiles, support for organizations classified as terrorist, support for the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime during the bloody six year civil war, various cyber-attacks on the USA, and general hostility towards Israel.
Officials say they’re working to address the deal’s flaws and to punish Tehran for troublesome non-nuclear behavior.
“The administration should stop reviewing and start deciding”, he wrote.