On April 19, 2017, the Trump administration pounced on Iran, declaring that the international deal signed under Obama Administration to prevent Tehran from developing its nuclear program has miserably failed.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson in a letter sent late on Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods."
This latest stand on Iran has raised questions whether US President Donald Trump plans to call off "historic deal" signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015.
Have a look at tension growing at both sides.
Speaking from the Treaty Room of the State Department during a brief press conference, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said nuclear deal inked by Obama administration had "completely ignored all the other serious threats that Iran poses". Contrary to this statement, a day before, Tillerson had vouched for Iran's sincerity in abiding by the Obama deal pact that had put restraints on its nuclear program.
Slamming Iran, Tillerson said that the Iran deal "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran." This led to Twitterati making sarcastic remarks on the sudden enlightenment that has dawned upon the Trump Administration.
Op –Ed Editor of The New York Post posted a sarcastic tweet, "Water is wet" and shared the news of new developments in American foreign policy towards Iran.
This is what we call double-speak. Just a day before, the same authority, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had said in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that the administration has taken a full review of the Iran agreement to evaluate whether continued sanctions relief is in the best interest of the country.
The letter further stated that Iran is complying with the landmark nuclear deal, and the US has extended sanctions relief to Tehran in exchange for curbs on its atomic programme.
But the US stand changed soon.
Tillerson's concern was based on Iran's "alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising more than one country at a time." Tillerson further said if Iran goes unchecked, it "has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea."
Tillerson's overnight assessment of Iran appears to be in continuation of Trump election campaign manifesto. During his election campaign, Donald Trump had insisted on terminating nuclear deal with Iran, calling it a "horrible deal."
The criticism of the deal was the main focus of the candidate Trump election campaigning. In March 2016, he had told the American Israel Political Action Committee that "my number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran." He had added, "Let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East."
Analysts have responded differently to this. Dr Ambreen Agha, Research Fellow with India's leading think tank, Indian Council of World Affairs, dismissed the recent U-turn on Iran as "political rhetoric."
She said it is not easy for the Trump administration to "walk away from the deal." "The deal was signed with the consent of other important world powers, including China and Russia – the latter has strengthened its relation with Tehran in the ongoing Syrian civil war," she said.
Now, reports have surfaced that US may review the deal to lift sanctions on Iran. Iran has always asserted its right to nuclear energy and has maintained that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
What remains to be seen is whether President Trump ends the deal. When former US President Barack Obama signed nuclear deal with Iran, it was a major shift in US foreign policy towards Iran which it had maintained since 1970s.