— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) September 19, 2017
US President Donald Trump has already decided on whether the US should withdraw from the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program or not, but has not shared his decision “externally”, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday. Talking to reporters at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, Tillerson said that when British Prime Minister Theresa May asked Trump to share his decision with her, he said “no.”
Speaking about the meeting of representatives of the six countries (Russia, Great Britain, China, the United States, France and Germany) and Iran on Wednesday at the UN headquarters, Tillerson said that it was a very frank discussion of issues related to Tehran’s implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He noted that Iran “technically” observes the terms of the agreement on limitation of its nuclear program.
“Perhaps the technical aspects have [been met], but in the broader context the aspiration has not,” he said.
Tillerson said that the Trump administration is planning further steps to address Iran’s behavior without falling out of compliance with the deal.
He accused Tehran of military support of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, of influencing the situation in Yemen and Iraq, as well as of aggressive actions against US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf
“Since the agreement has been confirmed we have seen anything but a more peaceful, stable region,” Tillerson said. He also mentioned Iran’s cyber activity and missile tests.
Tillerson said that Washington will continue to monitor Iran’s actions and take additional steps that will not conflict with the commitments under the JCPOA. He stressed added that US fully complies with JCPOA.
The agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was reached between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015.
On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.
When asked if the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on the DPRK are effective, Tillerson said:
“We have some indications that they are beginning to be evidence of fuel shortages. We knew these sanctions were going to take some time to be felt.”
Currently, the international sanctions against North Korea include a weapons embargo, a ban on the supply of aviation fuel to the country and the purchase of North Korean coal, iron ore, steel, seafood and other goods. On September 11, in response to the nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang a week before, the UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on the DPRK. In particular they impose a ban on imports of North Korean textiles, as well as restrictions on the supply of oil and products of its processing to the country.
According to the US, along with the restrictions imposed by previous resolutions of the UN Security Council, the implementation of new sanctions will deprive the DPRK of more than 90% of revenues from exports of raw materials and goods, which in 2016 amounted to about $2.7 bln.