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White House Adviser Says Will Honor Iran Nuclear Deal, Ensure Iran Complies

Christopher Ford speaks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on March 21.

A senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump on nuclear matters says that the United States will honor Iran's nuclear deal with world powers for now, while seeking to ensure strict compliance by Tehran.

Christopher Ford, the White House National Security Council's senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counterproliferation, told a conference in Washington on March 21 that the U.S. administration accepted the deal despite repeated criticism by Trump.

But he said the White House was reviewing the July 2015 agreement -- which curtailed Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions -- along with all the other nuclear arms pacts that the United States has negotiated under previous administrations.

"Until otherwise decided, the United States will adhere to the Iran nuclear deal and ensure that Iran also does," Ford told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Other nuclear pacts the White House is reviewing include the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a major international agreement "to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament."

"We are reviewing policy across the board," Ford said. "That necessarily includes reviewing, among many other things, whether the goal of a world without nuclear weapons is in fact a realistic objective in the near-to-medium term in light of current trends in the international security environment."

He cited what he said was tension between the goal of nuclear disarmament and the security requirements of the United States and its allies.

Ford said the administration was also reviewing responses to Russia's recent deployment of nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which the United States has said is a violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty between Moscow and Washington.

With reporting by Reuters and The Independent
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