The Trump administration’s decision to terminate the employment of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson illustrates that Washington is determined to bolt the seemingly ironclad nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Wednesday, according to AFP.
His remarks came as reports from Washington strongly indicate that the Trump administration have solidified plans to nix the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal as the May deadline date for recertification draws near.
In comments that were aired on Iranian state media, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi observed that, “The United States is determined to leave the nuclear deal, and changes at the State Department were made with that goal in mind — or at least it was one of the reasons.”
He placed emphasis on his country’s intention of following the US lead in the highly charged and controversial matter. “If the U.S. quits the nuclear deal, we will also quit it,” Araqchi stressed, adding, “We have told the Europeans that if they can’t keep the U.S. in the deal, Iran will also leave it.”
Taking to social media early on Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted his decision to fire Tillerson. He also announced his plans to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who pundits says, has stronger politically conservative credentials and has also opposed the Iran nuke deal.
In November of 2017, Pompeo said that the deal between Iran and Western powers is insufficient in ensuring that the Islamic Republic has no pathway to developing the bomb, according to an AP report.
The notion that the agreement would “curtail Iranian adventurism or their terror threat or their malignant behavior has now … two years on, proven to be fundamentally false,” said Pompeo, in comments quoted by The Associated Press.
According to an INN report, Pompeo said at the time that the Iran deal put the United States in a better place with respect to inspections of Iranian facilities. But from an intelligence perspective, he said, even more “intrusive inspection” is needed.
“The Iranians have on multiple occasions been capable of presenting a continued threat, through covert efforts to develop their nuclear program along multiple dimensions … the missile dimension, the weaponization effort, the nuclear component itself,” he stressed in November, according to AP.
Trump has provided the CIA with the authority it needs to track Iran’s compliance with the deal, he added. Trump has also gone on record in adopting a new approach to Iranian recalcitrance by refusing to certify its compliance with the deal.
Tillerson had previously announced his public support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal which was spearheaded by former President Barack Obama and received the signatures of America’s allies in Europe as well. Trump later said that Tillerson’s support for the deal was the reason he felt compelled to fire him.
Trump has repeatedly lambasted the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program in return for the lifting of crippling international sanctions, according to an INN report.
Trump recently decided to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran but made clear it would be the last time he will do so and ordered European allies and Congress to work with him to fix “the disastrous flaws” in the 2015 deal or Washington would withdraw.
Tehran has repeatedly ruled out changing a single comma of the text.