US accuses Iran of 'alarming provocations' amid nuclear tensions

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the Middle East and undermining America's interests in the region.

"An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it," Mr Tillerson said.

President Donald Trump earlier ordered a review of the Iran nuclear deal.

However, the US admits that Tehran is complying with the 2015 agreement.

Iran has so far made no public comments on the latest developments.

It has repeatedly denied accusations by the West that it was ever trying to develop nuclear weapons.

North Korea said it may test missiles on a weekly basis, and warned of "all-out war" if the US takes military action.

What is the US doing about Iran?

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Tillerson said a review, which he had announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would look at the whole US policy towards Iran - taking in not only Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.

He accused the country of "alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising 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 US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel."

As part of a long list of charges, he criticised Iran's involvement in the Syrian conflict and its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

The secretary of state earlier acknowledged the Iranians had met the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. But he said its "nuclear ambitions" remained "a grave risk to international peace and security".

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The landmark 2015 agreement saw crippling sanctions lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified Tehran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities.

Barack Obama argued the deal, between Iran and six world powers including China, Russia and the UK, was the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

But President Trump has described the landmark agreement as the "worst deal ever".

Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and that it will continue missile development.

source: BBC

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