United States President Donald Trump took a “prudent” step in seeking a 90-day inter-agency review of whether lifting sanctions through the Iran nuclear deal would be in the United States’ national security interests, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Asked if Trump was concerned that Iran might be cheating on the deal, Sean Spicer told reporters at a daily press briefing: “He’s doing the prudent thing by asking for a review of the current deal.”
In a letter to US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, on Tuesday US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remained compliant with the 2015 deal, but said there were concerns about its role as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Under the deal, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is the first such notification under U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The U.S. Department of State certified to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan today that Iran is compliant through April 18 with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Tillerson said in a statement.
“President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States,” Tillerson added.
He did not say how long the review would take but said in the letter to Ryan that the administration looked forward to working with Congress on the issue.
During his presidential campaign, Trump called the agreement “the worst deal ever negotiated,” raising questions over whether he would rip up the agreement once he took office.