0302 GMT December 18, 2017
Speaking in Tel Aviv alongside his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman, Mattis said the Iranians “appear to be living up to their part of the agreement.” The nuclear deal “continues to be in force,” the Pentagon chief said, timesofisrael.com reported.
In the first visit to Israel by a member of US President Donald Trump's cabinet, Mattis reiterated that the US is a signatory to a deal that “continues to be in force” and that all other issues are separate and distinct from the nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The comments came days after the White House certified to US Congress that Tehran was complying with the terms of the deal, clearing the way for Iran to continue enjoying sanctions relief in the near term.
Iran is sticking to the terms of its nuclear deal made with the Obama administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.
However, Trump on Thursday asserted that Iran was “not living up to the spirit of the agreement.” On Tuesday, Trump ordered a review of the deal to be led by his National Security Council, although the State Department admits Iran has so far stuck to its side of the bargain.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany – signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.