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Rex Tillerson declares end to ‘strategic patience’ with Iran, slams nuclear deal

He also dismissed the Iran nuclear agreement as one that would allow, not prevent, Iran from developing nuclear weapons

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that the United States will no longer exercise “strategic patience” with Iran, and criticized the Iran nuclear deal reached under President Obama as one that simply tries to buy off Iran and leave the consequences for later generations.

“Strategic patience is a failed approach,” Tillerson said during an address from the State Department. “In deed and in propaganda, Iran foments discord.”
Tillerson outlined a long list of problems with Iran, including its support for terrorism and hostile policy toward Israel.

He also dismissed the Iran nuclear agreement as one that would allow, not prevent, Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran, it only delays they goal of becoming a nuclear state,” Tillerson said, using the formal acronym for the Iran nuclear pact. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran.”

“It is another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions. We buy them off for a short period of time, and then someone has to deal with it later,” Tillerson added. “We just don’t see that that’s a prudent way to be dealing with Iran, certainly not in the context of all their other destructive activities.”

That statement is designed as a break of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, which ignored Iran’s hostile actions in the name of reaching a nuclear deal that most Republicans criticized.

Tillerson’s language was similar to that used by other top Trump administration officials to describe the new U.S. policy toward North Korea. Vice President Mike Pence was in South Korea just days ago to warn that the U.S. was ending its policy of “strategic patience” there.

“The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran, it only delays they goal of becoming a nuclear state,” Tillerson said, using the formal acronym for the Iran nuclear pact. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran.”

Tillerson made that statement following a late-night notification to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, but that its ongoing support for terrorism had motivated the Trump team to consider re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal.

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