President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Iranian nuclear deal, and last month promised to approach enforcement of the agreement with "great strictness." But according to one administration official, the agreement is doing precisely what it set out to accomplish.
The head of US Strategic Command said Tuesday that Iran is not attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, and that it is abiding by the terms of the deal -- agreed to in 2015 by the Iranian government, the Obama administration, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
"While Iran continues to follow the mandates of the [deal], we must remain vigilant to any Iranian intentions that indicate it will pursue nuclear weapons," Gen. John Hyten said before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
An Obama-appointee, Hyten made the statement while the deal is under review. The ongoing analysis was described yesterday as "rigorous" by one State Department official.
The Obama administration repeatedly stated that the nuclear agreement was meant to be narrow -- designed to specifically alleviate fears of Tehran acquiring nuclear weapons. As both a candidate and the President, Trump has panned the accord, calling it "the worst deal ever negotiated."
Complicating matters for the commerce-focused Trump administration: Boeing announced Tuesday that it has agreed to supply 30 jets to an Iranian airline. The contract will "sustain" 18,000 jobs in the US, according to Bloomberg.
Hyten’s relatively dovish statement also came amid bipartisan efforts by lawmakers to pass additional sanctions on the Iranian government.
Critics of the bill, like the National Iranian American Council, say the proposed penalties would bring the US out of compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement.
"Without knowing how the President will exercise these new sanctions authorities, it is unclear what implications such provisions may have for US adherence to its commitments," NIAC said.