Iran complying with nuclear deal but defying its spirit

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to make an announcement on Iran's nuclear agreement "very shortly". "Yet when it comes to growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, the administration has instead opted for more ineffective sanctions and risky threats of military force". But they say Iran is "unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the agreement. We don't have to fight; we don't need to fight.

"It gives us all hope that the most complex issues in this domain can be addressed through dialogue, understanding and cooperation", he added.

Zarif is in the United States to speak Tuesday at a high-level meeting assessing progress toward meeting U.N. goals for 2030 to combat poverty, achieve gender equality, promote economic development and good governance, and preserve the environment.

The U.S. State Department is reportedly preparing to issue a report for the second time since Trump took office certifiying that Iran is in compliance with the deal.

"In our view, the previous administration allowed the nuclear agreement to be the tail that wagged the Iran policy dog", another senior administration official on the call said.

Zarif said the International Atomic Energy Agency, "which is hardly a sympathizer for Iran", has verified its compliance with the agreement. "Unfortunately, the same can not be said about the USA". "On seven different occasions, the IAEA declared that Iran is entirely fulfilling its part of the deal".

The administration is also looking at ways to strengthen the nuclear deal and more strictly enforce it, the official said, citing concerns that the deal over time would let Iran openly pursue industrial-scale nuclear fuel enrichment.

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"We receive contradictory signals", Zarif said when asked about the possible outcome of the review. "So we don't know which one to interpret in what way".

Iran denies seeking nuclear arms.

The landmark deal struck with Iran by the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany is aimed at preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon by imposing time-limited restrictions and strict global monitoring on its nuclear program.

He said Iran was not designing missiles to carry nuclear warheads, which is banned under the nuclear deal, and that the country's missiles were only for self defense.

Asked repeatedly about US citizens detained in Iran, the foreign minister offered to do "all it takes from my side" to ensure they have access to legal help and are treated humanely.

But he added: "As foreign minister, I always try on humanitarian grounds to help".

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