The Latest: Tillerson won’t disclose Trump’s Iran decision
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the United States and Iran (all times local):
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Iran is in “technical compliance” with the 2015 nuclear deal but it’s failing to live up to the expectation that the deal would remove a “serious threat” to the region.
Tillerson says President Donald Trump has decided whether to withdraw from the deal, but hasn’t shared his decision with anyone “externally.”
The secretary says British Prime Minister Theresa May asked Trump to share his decision with her “and he said no.”
Tillerson is speaking after meeting with the parties to the deal, including Iran. He says no one disagreed that Iran is technically complying but it’s a political discussion now about whether to remain in the deal.
He says his first meeting with the Iranians was “very matter of fact.”
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says all parties to the Iran nuclear deal agree that the accord is being implemented as planned and U.S. complaints about other Iranian behavior should be discussed outside the context of the agreement.
Speaking at the conclusion of a meeting of the parties to the 2015 deal, Mogherini told reporters Wednesday the deal “is working and is delivering for its purpose.” She says the deal’s preservation is important at a critical time in the world.
She could not say whether the U.S. would remain in the deal, but stresses that the European Union is committed to preserving it. Her comments followed a meeting at the United Nations that was also attended by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has opened the highest-level meeting between U.S. and Iranian officials since the start of the Trump administration.
Tillerson is meeting at the United Nations with diplomats from the nations that are part of the 2015 nuclear deal. The group includes Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walked into the meeting first. He was followed by Tillerson and then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came in after.
The meeting comes as Trump decides whether to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
A group of Democratic senators is pressing the Trump administration to comply with a law that requires the administration to tell Congress of potential breaches by Iran of the landmark nuclear deal.
The senators say the executive branch must share with Congress any Iranian violations within 10 days of receiving that information. The lawmakers say they’ve received no such notifications so far.
In fact, the lawmakers say in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other national security officials that they’ve been told the opposite. They say Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in July that Iran is abiding by its commitments.
The letter is being sent amid signs that President Donald Trump may walk away from the nuclear accord.
President Donald Trump says he’s reached a decision on whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — but he won’t say what it is.
Trump was asked several times on Wednesday whether he’d reached a decision. His answer: “I’ve decided.”
And he answered, “I’ll let you know,” when he was asked for details.
The president made the comments during a meeting in New York with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump — in his U.N. speech on Tuesday — called the 2015 nuclear deal an “embarrassment” to the United States.
The president has until Oct. 15 to certify that Iran is complying with the deal. Under the agreement, Iran has halted nuclear development in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
The United States and Iran are planning for their highest-level interaction of Donald Trump’s presidency. It’ll come just a day after Trump delivered a blistering attack on Iran and the landmark 2015 nuclear deal — and sent strong signals he could walk away from that accord.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are expected to attend a European Union-hosted meeting about the agreement at the United Nations later Wednesday.
The closed-door gathering is expected to be contentious, and its lead-up has been marked by Washington and Tehran trading increasingly harsh barbs.