As a presidential candidate, Trump was voracious in his denunciation of the deal.
But despite the tough rhetoric, the Trump administration offered no immediate actions to counter the charges of destabilizing behavior it leveled against Iran, straying far from the harder line Trump has long promised he would take against the country - including his calls on the campaign trail for the U.S. to tear up or renegotiate a deal he decried as "the worst deal ever". Trump had faced a congressionally mandated deadline of Monday to decide.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will "very shortly" make an announcement on Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers that President Donald Trump has called a "bad deal", White House spokesman Sean Spicer says.
The official ticked off a list of accusations about Iranian behaviour in the region, including ballistic missile development and proliferation, support for terrorism and militancy, complicity in atrocities committed in Syria and threats to Gulf waterways.
"These Iranian activities severely undermine the intent of the deal", one official said.
Zarif said as per the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the IAEA is the "only accepted body to monitor the implementation of the nuclear side of the deal", adding that the nuclear agency had repeatedly confirmed Iran's commitment to the deal.
The landmark deal struck with Iran by the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany is aimed at preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon by imposing time-limited restrictions and strict global monitoring on its nuclear programme. Iran, in exchange for adhering to the agreement negotiated in 2015 between itself, the United States, and worldwide powers, gets sanctions relief.
Zarif insisted that Iran's missiles are only intended for self-defense and he sarcastically compared Iran's home-made missiles with the expensive arms that the United States is supplying its main rival in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, under a recently announced $110 billion arms deal.
The senior administration official said the Trump administration meant to employ a strategy that would "address the totality of Iran's malign behaviour" and not just focus on the Iran nuclear agreement.
At the same time, the US retains sanctions against Iran on the missile program, human rights and on suspicion that Tehran sponsors terrorism.
"Iran is a serious partner for all these countries in fighting a common enemy because we believe at the end of the day. these extremist forces are as much a threat against us, but even more a threat against them", Zarif said.