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Tillerson urging Trump to certify Iran's compliance with nuclear deal: report
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is urging President Trump to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with the Iran nuclear accord, following reports that Trump may make major amendments to the deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Tillerson and other officials are urging Trump to certify Iran's compliance but make changes to address U.S. concerns, current and former U.S. officials told the Journal.
The secretary of State's advice to the president comes after Trump called the deal "an embarrassment to the U.S." in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week.
Trump announced Wednesday that he had made a decision on the deal, which Tillerson said would need "additional work" before being released publicly.
Tillerson said Wednesday that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the 2015 nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the accord not having stopped the threat posed by Tehran.
Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top foreign affairs official, emphasized the deal's importance following a high-level meeting of countries involved in the agreement this week. Tillerson later indicated that while Iran was in technical compliance with the accord, the Trump administration's concerns were more political.
Trump has previously expressed his interest in not certifying Iran's compliance with the deal, which requires the administration to prove to Congress every 90 days that the nation is abiding by its requirements.
Brian Hook, the State Department director of policy planning, confirmed to the Journal that while Trump has decided on a course of action on the deal, "we are still working on a comprehensive plan to address the non-nuclear aspects of Iran's behavior."
The administration is expected to announce the decision on the JCPOA before the upcoming October deadline for its re-certification.