Rex Tillerson, chief executive officer of Exxon Mobile Corp., speaks at the 2012 CERAWEEK conference in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Friday, March 9, 2012. Exxon Mobil Corp. is moving toward the conclusion of an agreement to drill in the Russian Arctic, Tillerson said. Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

US Secretary of State warns that Iran could follow North Korea in nuclear weapons capabilities

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Iran of what he said was “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize countries in the Middle East, of undermining US interests in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and of an ongoing aspiration to develop nuclear weapons capabilities that potentially could lead to the same path of North Korea. 

“The Trump administration is currently conducting, across the entire government, a review of our Iran policy. Today, I’d like to address Iran’s alarming ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilizing more than one country at a time.Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interest in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon and continuing to support attacks against Israel. 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. A comprehensive Iran policy requires that we address all of the threats posed by Iran — and is clear there are many. Iran continues to support the brutal Assad regime in Syria, prolonging a conflict that has killed approximately half a million Syrians and displaced millions more,” said Tillerson.

Secretary Tillerson reemphasized that Washington would reevaluate its policy on Iran to assure the ongoing actions by the Islamic Republic would be thwarted. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear: Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region, and the world. As I indicated at the beginning, the Trump administration is currently conducting a comprehensive review of our Iran policy. Once we have finalized our conclusions we will meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction. Thank you,” added Tillerson.

Tillerson also said that the Iran nuclear deal, which was advanced and endorsed by the previous US Administration of President Barack Obama, completely ignored the other serious threats that Iran poses to the world, a fact that has allowed Tehran to continue with its dangerous activities.