16:58 GMT11 May 2021
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    A day after the US imposed new sanctions on Iran, the US state secretary has lashed out at Tehran he accused of overseeing "a threat network of proxies who export terror and violence."

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Iran oversees a threat network that exports terror and destabilizes countries across the Middle East, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

    "In the Middle East, Iran oversees a threat network of proxies who export terror and violence. They destabilize countries throughout the region," Tillerson said in an opening speech at the Ninth Community of Democracies Governing Council Ministerial in Washington.

    Tillerson said the United States was working closely with its allies in Europe, as well as with Israel, to address these "threats," while also supporting the emergence of a stronger and more resilient democracy in Iraq.

    The statement comes a day after the United States imposed new sanctions on seven Iranian individuals for allegedly participating in cyberattacks against the United States and two entities related to Tehran's ballistic missile program. However, the same day the US government decided to extend sanctions relief for Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA), sending a mixed signal to Tehran.

    On Thursday, Tillerson said that he believes that Iran "is clearly in default of expectations" concerning the nuclear deal, reiterating Washington's stance that Tehran is allegedly not abiding by the deal, a claim the Islamic Republic has strongly denied.

    A day before the new sanctions were imposed, the Russian foreign minister reiterated after talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran fully complies with the nuclear deal despite Washington's claims of Tehran's alleged violations of the agreement.

    President Donald Trump questioned Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding its nuclear deal. Iran's deputy foreign minister said earlier that the United States is seeking to exit from the JCPOA on Iran's nuclear program while putting the blame for the deal's failure on Tehran.

    On July 14, 2015, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, collectively referred to as the P5+1 group, signed the JCPOA with Iran on the latter's nuclear program. The deal stipulated a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran's assurances that its nuclear program would remain in a peaceful nature.


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