Trump administration steps up criticism of Iran

"Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that", Trump said in a joint news conference with Italy's visiting Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called the nuclear agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated", raising questions over whether he would rip it up once he took office. "It shouldn't have been negotiated the way it was negotiated".

Mr Tillerson said the U.S. is conducting a comprehensive review of its Iran policy and added that the Obama-era nuclear deal only "delays" Tehran's goal of becoming a nuclear state.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Tillerson said a review, which he had announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would look at the whole United States policy towards Iran - taking in not only Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a press conference on Iran in the Treaty Room of the State Department on April 19.

The top American diplomat sought to reinforce the notion that the aggressively countering Iran's destabilizing behavior throughout the Middle East, even though President Donald Trump so far has not pulled out of the deal.

"We'll see if U.S. [is] prepared to live up to letter of the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known] let alone [to its] spirit".

"I think the United States has, right now, enough roles", he said. Tillerson said that decision will be made as part of a governmentwide review of Iran policy now under way.

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In spoken remarks, though, he talked only of Iran's bad behaviour and linked that to the future of the deal.

"We will help it be strong, and it's very much to everybody's advantage", Trump said.

Iran has reiterated that the U.S.

Obama considered the nuclear agreement one of his most important foreign-policy achievements, saying it would end the threat that Iran would have a nuclear weapon.

"This deal represents the same failed approach of the past", Tillerson said. "I can tell you that". Moreover, Iran claims that their nuclear program is "entirely peaceful" and has plans to continue developing missiles.

It was the first certification of Iran's compliance issued by the Trump administration.

Trump doesn't have to actually tear up the deal. Furthermore, Tillerson also slammed Iran's support of the "brutal Assad regime", which, according to the White House, was responsible for the recent chemical attacks against Syrian civilians.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Frederica Mogherini, said last month after meetings with senior Trump administration officials she was reassured in the talks that the USA was committed to fully implementing the deal.

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