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'Unchecked' Iran could become another N Korea: US

Unchecked Iran could become another N Korea: US
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has termed the Iran nuclear deala failure and said an "unchecked" Tehran could become another North Korea, but stopped short of threatening to derail the landmark agreement.

Tillerson said the US is conducting a comprehensive review of its Iran policy and added that the Obama-era nuclear deal only "delays" Tehran's goal of becoming a nuclear state.

"This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face from North Korea. The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran," he said at a hurriedly-convened press briefing.

"Iran's nuclear ambitions are a grave risk to international peace and security," Tillerson said. His toughen stand on Iran on Wednesday, came a day after the Trump administration notified the Congress that Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former president Barack Obama to limit the Islamic Republic's nuclear ability. The administration said it has extended the sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Iran has defended its nuclear programme as purely civilian and its supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned in November that Tehran would retaliate if the US breached the nuclear agreement.

Tillerson, seeking to reinforce the idea that the US is forcefully countering Iran's destabilising behaviour in the Middle East, also described Tehran as a "leading state sponsor of terror". "The evidence is clear: Iran's provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world," he said.

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel 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 accused Iran of intensifying multiple conflicts including the one in Syria.
Agencies

Agencies

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