Iran, major powers review nuclear deal as Trump deadline looms

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Comments made by US President Donald Trump about the sacking of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson highlighted the fact that while the threat to world peace posed by North Korea has dominated the headlines in recent months, Trump is determinedly focused at least as much on another rogue state, which probably poses an even greater threat in the longer term - Iran.

This would cover Iran's ballistic missile programme, its regional activities, the expiration of parts of the nuclear deal in the mid-2020s and tighter United Nations inspections, Mr Hook said. "What is important for the Islamic Republic is America's policy in global affairs and their interaction with us and we will adopt our own positions". It said they must agree to "fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal" ― which was sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama ― or he would refuse to extend United States sanctions relief on Iran.

Shamjani denounced the U.S. policy against the Iran-G5 + 1 nuclear agreement (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China plus Germany). Neither issue is addressed in the nuclear deal, which deals exclusively with Iran's nuclear program. USA sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.

He also said no one would benefit from new anti-Iran sanctions. "This country is not very dependable".

Trump is still threatening to scrap the nuclear deal unless tough new restrictions are placed on Iran before May 12, when he must certify to Congress that Iran is in good standing under the current version of the deal.

Pompeo has said Russian interference had no impact on the outcome of the 2016 race for the White House, which is not something USA intelligence agencies say they are even qualified to assess.

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The news came as the signatories to the deal attended a regular meeting aimed at reviewing the implementation of the agreement, which is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

While, President Trump had disagreement with Tillerson on several foreign policy issues, he only mentioned the Iran deal, when he spoke about his decision at the White House on Tuesday. That is because other countries, businesses and financial institutions would be inclined to curb their interactions with Iran, eroding any motivation for Iran to stay in it.

As a congressman, Pompeo opposed the Obama-era Iran agreement as "unconscionable", and he said after Trump's election that he was looking forward to "rolling it back". Getting the sanctions imposed would require unanimous European Union approval.

"When you look at the Iran deal - I think it's bad", Trump said.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said it could resume its production of highly enriched uranium, which it shelved under the deal, within two days. The JCPOA is the formal name of the nuclear deal.

Some analysts believe that Pompeo may moderate some of his criticisms of the nuclear deal if he becomes secretary of state and slips into the role.