Although the Trump administration admitted Tuesday that Iran is complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement and extended the sanctions relief given to Tehran, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson leveled criticism at Iran on Wednesday, dubbing the deal a "failed approach."
Tillerson emphasized that the US is going to carry out a "comprehensive review" of its policy toward Iran, which, according to the Secretary of State, is about to follow in North Korea's footsteps.
"The Trump administration is currently conducting across the entire government a review of our Iran policy… an unchecked Iran has the potential to follow the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it. The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach," Tillerson said as quoted by CNBC.
Previously, the Trump cabinet signaled that it is determined to find out whether the Iranian nuclear deal really reflects US national security interests.
"President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan.
Speaking to Sputnik Persian, Hamed Mousavi, a professor at the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Tehran, highlighted that Iran's nuclear agreement is an international deal in the first place.
"One should pay attention to a few points, in particular, the multilateral nature of the obligations under the JCPOA. The US should not forget that a nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement between [Washington] and Iran. The United States cannot unilaterally abolish the international agreement that was signed by Iran and several other countries and which was approved by the UN Security Council. This is contrary to international law," Mousavi emphasized.
Grigory Yarygin, Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies of the School of International Relations at St.Petersburg State University, echoed Mousavi.
"This nuclear deal was concluded not only between Tehran and Washington, but it is Iran's deal with six international mediators. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the attempt to cancel this deal will succeed," Yarygin told Radio Sputnik.
For his part, Hamid Gholamzadeh, an expert on North America and English Chief Editor of Mehr News Agency, suggested in an interview with Sputnik Persian that Washington is looking for an excuse to undermine the deal.
"The US has recognized that Iran is fulfilling its obligations. But this did not convince them. Therefore, the US is looking for new pretexts, which they want to prove using the relevant documents. Despite the reaffirmation of Iran's commitment to its obligations, the US accused it of supporting terrorism in order to obtain a justification [for imposing sanctions]," Gholamzadeh explained.
The question then arises as to why the new administration is pushing ahead with its plan to rip the Iran nuclear deal up?
Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy magazine believes that Donald Trump is seeking to restore US-Saudi relations, which were undermined by the US nuclear deal struck under Obama.
Gramer called attention to the fact that on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited Riyadh to discuss the Pentagon's support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. Meanwhile, on Wednesday Tillerson addressed the US-Saudi business summit in Washington, "touting bilateral business ties as a way for the two countries' relations 'to be taken to new heights'."
"The joint appearances by Mattis and Tillerson showcase a warming of US-Saudi relations under Trump after eight years of tension with former President Barack Obama's administration," the journalist assumed, stressing that "one of the biggest points of contention between Washington and Riyadh in recent years was the Iran nuclear deal."
However, it is still unclear how Trump is going to appease Riyadh and deliver on his election promise to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.