US accuses Iran of ‘alarming provocations’

Washington, April 20 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” aimed at destabilising the Middle East and undermining America’s interests in the region, a media report said.

“An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it,” Tillerson said on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

The Secretary of State also said the Iran review, which he announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would not only look at Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.

Tillerson accused Iran of undermining US interests in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. “A comprehensive Iran policy requires we address all of the threats posed by Iran, and it is clear there are many,” he said.

US President Donald Trump had earlier ordered a review of the Iran nuclear deal. However, the US admitted that Tehran was complying with the 2015 agreement, the BBC said.

Iran has so far made no public comments on the latest developments. It has repeatedly denied accusations by the West that it was ever trying to develop nuclear weapons.

In announcing a broad review of Iran policy the Trump administration has not jettisoned the nuclear deal.

But Tillerson has come pretty close to saying the agreement was not worth keeping, even though he’s had to admit it’s working.

On Tuesday, Washington accused North Korea of trying to “provoke something”, after Pyongyang conducted a failed missile test over the weekend.

In response, North Korea said it would test missiles on a weekly basis, and warned of “all-out war” if the US took military action.



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