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Trump Ignores IAEA Stance, Ratchets Up Rhetoric on JCPOA

Donald TrumpDonald Trump

Despite repeated verifications by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is meeting its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, US President Donald Trump issued a veiled threat against Iran on Tuesday, saying Tehran must adhere to the terms of the agreement or else face "big, big problems."

A week after reaffirming that Iran is complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated by his democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump made clear to thousands of raucous supporters that he remains extremely wary of Tehran in an effort to deflect attention from his internal disputes and domestic woes.

Trump administration officials, briefing reporters last week, said new economic sanctions against Iran were being prepared over its ballistic missile program and for allegedly contributing to regional tensions, Reuters reported. Trump devoted part of his speech in Youngstown, Ohio, to Iran.

"If that deal doesn't conform to what it's supposed to conform to, it's going to be big, big problems for them. That I can tell you. Believe me," he said.

"You would have thought they would have said 'thank you United States. We really love you very much.' Instead, they've become emboldened. That won't take place much longer."

Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday he would be surprised if Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal when recertification comes up again in three months.

"We'll talk about the subject in 90 days but I would be surprised if they were in compliance," he told the Journal in an interview.

 

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