Trump: Iran 'not living up to the spirit' of nuclear deal, despite compliance

On Tuesday, the administration reported that Iran was in line with restrictions.

ByABC News
April 20, 2017, 5:24 PM

— -- President Donald Trump said today that Iran is "not living up to the spirit" of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 under President Obama, just two days after Trump's administration reported that Iran was complying with the requirements laid out in the landmark agreement.

Trump made the remarks at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni Thursday after he was asked if he had "reason to suspect that [Iran is] cheating" on the deal. On Tuesday the administration notified Congress that Iran was continuing to comply with the terms of the deal, a notice that must be given every 90 days.

Iran signed the agreement, formally titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2015 along with the United States and members of the United Nations Security Council.

"I think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed," said Trump, adding "we're analyzing it very, very carefully and we'll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future."

Trump did not give any additional details about Iran's adherence to the pact.

The agreement puts limits on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions that for years crippled Iran's economy.

As part of Tuesday's letter to Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed to review the JCPOA and determine whether it is "vital" to the U.S.'s "national security interests." Tillerson repeated the stance at a Wednesday press conference, warning that Iranian nuclear ambitions could emulate those of North Korea.

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it," said Tillerson Wednesday.

Trump said on Thursday that the deal "shouldn't have been signed," and added that "I'm all for agreements, but that was a bad one -- as bad as I've seen negotiated."