Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that Donald Trump had made a decision about the Iran nuclear deal, but admitted that Iran was still technically in compliance with the agreement.
Tillerson admitted that he didn’t know that Trump would reveal that he had already made a decision, in comments with reporters earlier on Wednesday.
“I didn’t know he was gonna’ say he’s made a decision,” Tillerson said Wednesday evening. “I knew he had. But I didn’t know he was gonna say he had.”
He repeated that he would not reveal the president’s decision, and said that Trump wouldn’t even tell British Prime Minister Theresa May what his plans were during a meeting earlier in the day. An NBC report indicated today that Trump was “leaning toward decertifying the Iran nuclear deal.”
“As the president has always indicated, he will let you know when he thinks it’s useful to let you know, and he does not share his forward planning with people,” Tillerson told reporters.
Tillerson met with Iranian officials during the United Nations summit but told reporters after the meeting that both parties had significant differences.
“We didn’t throw shoes at one another,” he acknowledged wryly but admitted they had a frank exchange of principles during the meeting. “We see this agreement very very differently,”
He said that Iran had failed to live up to the expectations of the deal, which expected a more peaceful, stable relationship with the country.
“Regrettably, since the agreement was confirmed, we have seen anything but,” Tillerson said, referring to continuing hostile activity from Iranian forces towards the United States and its allies.
He cited Iran’s support of Bashar al-Assad, engaging in cyber-warfare, conducting missile tests, and threatening United States ships in the region.
Tillerson said that technically Iran was still in compliance with the IAEA nuclear inspections and the agreement.
He explained that Trump believed that the sunset clause, removing some of the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program was “unacceptable.”