US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has denied suggesting that the US would want “to get rid of” a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.
A report had cited France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as saying after a Thursday meeting with Tillerson that the French had gotten such an impression.
“I didn’t leave any such impression,” Tillerson, however, said later in the day, Reuters reported.
Ayrault (seen below) also told reporters after the meeting that there was a clear difference of opinion between the two allies on the nuclear deal, “with the United States wanting to review it from scratch.”
Paris is also a party to the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the JCPOA, all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were terminated, and Iran in return has agreed to apply certain limits to its nuclear program and provide enhanced access to international monitors to its nuclear facilities.
Despite Tillerson’s denial, there have been a number of indications that the administration of US President Donald Trump would want to stop implementing American commitments under the accord. Trump had previously threatened to rip up the deal and called it “the worst accord ever” and “one of the dumbest” ones he had come across.
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Ayrault traveled to Tehran last month, saying he was a “defender” of the nuclear deal.
“We want this agreement to be respected,” he said back then, emphasizing that it was a “common interest” to sustain the accord, which ended a decade-long dispute over the Iranian nuclear program.