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Iran Says U.S. 'Seeking Excuses' To Tear Up Nuclear Deal

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council

A senior Iranian military official has accused Washington of “seeking excuses” to tear up the nuclear deal Tehran reached with six world powers by demanding inspections of Iranian military sites.

Ali Shamkhani, a military commander and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, made the remarks on state television on September 15.

Shamkhani said "Iran has no undisclosed nuclear activity in any geographical location in the country."

He said issues raised by the United States are “media hype by the Americans so that they can refrain from fulfilling their obligations.”

Shamkhani’s remarks came one day after Washington said it would extend the sanctions relief that Iran was granted under the 2015 nuclear deal but would impose new penalties on Iranian individuals and entities over Tehran’s ballistic-missile program.

"Waiving some of those sanctions should not be seen as an indication of President [Donald] Trump or his administration's position on the [nuclear deal], nor is the waiver giving the Iranian regime a pass on its broad range of malign behavior," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

U.S. and UN watchdogs monitoring compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement have found Iran has adhered to the deal.

However, the Trump administration has frequently charged that Tehran breaks the "spirit" of the deal by continuing to test-launch ballistic missiles and rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on September 14 that Washington is continuing to develop its policy on Iran and will consider the wider threat it poses beyond just its nuclear program.

"President Trump has made it clear,” Tillerson said. “We must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just Iran's nuclear capabilities. That is just one piece of our posture toward Iran."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on September 14 that Trump’s suggestion that the nuclear deal should be renegotiated was “pure fantasy.”

In a Twitter message, Zarif said the deal is not renegotiable, adding that it was “about time for [the] U.S. to stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran.”

Zarif is due to meet with Tillerson and foreign ministers from other world powers that signed the nuclear deal when they gather on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The other signatories of the Iran nuclear pact are Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP