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Trump administration says Iran is complying with nuclear deal terms

Staff Writer |
The Trump administration certified Monday that Tehran had met the terms of the nuclear deal signed in 2015, but said Iran was "in default of the spirit" of it.

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President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tilleron believe Iran's activities undermine the intent of the agreement and that Iran is "unquestionably in default of the spirit of the [deal]," senior administration officials told reporters at a briefing late Monday.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the deal, which was meant to constrain Tehran's ability to make nuclear weapons for at least 15 years and which was reached between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany after years of talks.

While campaigning for the presidency last year, Trump called it "catastrophic - for America, for Israel, and for the whole Middle East."

During Monday's telephone briefing, one official said Iran had in the past taken advantage of the Obama administration's "permissive view," citing its use of centrifuges as an example.

"We have determined that we need to approach those things more stringently to ensure that Iran is complying with a stricter interpretation of what the [deal] requires," the official said.

"We certainly take every opportunity we can to identify areas of ambiguity to resist Iranian attempts to push the envelope of what they are doing under deal," the official continued.

The official added that Iran had "a well established strategy of trying to get away as much as they are allowed to get away with."

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