WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the nuclear pact signed in 2015 by six world powers with Iran has “failed” in its objective and if more restrictions are not placed on Tehran it could follow in the footsteps of North Korea “and take the world along with it.”
One day after announcing in a statement that the Donald Trump administration is reviewing the nuclear accord with Iran, Tillerson made an appearance before reporters at the State Department to emphasize his doubts about the pact reached under the mandate of former President Barack Obama.
“The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran. It only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state,” said Tillerson, using the acronym for the pact, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
According to Tillerson, that nuclear deal completely ignored the other risks Iran presents on the international stage that require a comprehensive fight against the Iranian regime, taking into account its sponsorship of terrorism, among other factors.
While running for president, Trump repeatedly said that the nuclear deal with Iran was the “worst deal ever negotiated.”
“The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran,” Tillerson said.
At a time of significant tension between Washington and Pyongyang, Tillerson also warned that Tehran could become another North Korea if additional “restrictions” are not imposed upon it.
“An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea – and to take the world along with it,” said the secretary.
“The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach,” he added.
The top US diplomat once again used the expression – “strategic patience” – employed by Vice President Mike Pence last week to refer to the Obama government’s tactic for dealing with Pyongyang.
Tillerson ticked off a long list of “alarming and ongoing (Iranian) provocations” and accused Tehran of exporting “terror and violence,” thus destabilizing several nations.