Tillerson says Iran nuclear deal is same 'failed approach' that led to North Korea

Tillerson made the comments at the State Department Wednesday afternoon.

ByABC News
April 19, 2017, 6:46 PM

— -- The Iran nuclear deal "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran" and "represents the same failed approach" that led to the North Korean nuclear threat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today in a press conference.

Tillerson spoke at the State Department this afternoon after sending a letter Tuesday night to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announcing that the Trump administration will be reviewing the Iran nuclear deal over the next 90 days, despite Iranian compliance with the requirements laid out in the 2015 agreement.

The National Security Council-led interagency review will be evaluating whether the administration should stop the suspension of sanctions against Iran because the country "remains a leading state sponsor of terror."

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it," Tillerson said, later adding that the current nuclear agreement "only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state."

"The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran," Tillerson said.

Tillerson said Iran has been responsible for "intensifying multiple conflicts" and undermines the U.S. in countries like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. He suggested the coming review will result in a more "comprehensive" Iran policy that shies away from the tactic of "strategic patience" that the Trump administration has deemed unsuccessful.

The Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the JCPOA, "is another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions," Tillerson said. "We buy them off for a short period of time and then someone has to deal with it later. We just don't see that as a credible way to be dealing with Iran."

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