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Pence: Trump is evaluating Iran nuclear pact

Washington: Vice President Mike Pence said that the Donald Trump administration is “evaluating” whether or not it will continue to maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran and five great powers, media reports said.

“Well, we’re evaluating that as we speak,” Pence told ABC News in a Sunday interview in response to a question about whether the Trump administration would continue to be bound by the 2015 pact.

“I think the President will make that decision in the days ahead. And he’ll listen to all of his advisers, but make no mistake about it. The resolve of this President is such that Iran would do well to think twice about their continued hostile and belligerent actions,” the Vice President added.

The administration on Friday imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and entities linked with Tehran’s ballistic missile program in response to Iran’s medium-range missile test a week ago, Efe news reported.

“Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President (Barack) Obama was to them. Not me!” Trump posted on Twitter on Friday.

Despite his criticism of the nuclear accord reached by the Obama administration with Tehran, Trump has made no move to date to withdraw from the multilateral pact, to which Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China are also party.

Both US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have come out against withdrawing from the pact, although the latter during his Senate confirmation hearing recommended a “complete review” of its terms.

In imposing new sanctions on Iran last Friday, the Trump administration warned that it was only a first step toward counteracting Iran’s “provocative behaviour,” and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced the end of US “tolerance” regarding the Islamic Republic.

–IANS