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US general says scrapping Iran nuclear pact would make future deals tough

WASHINGTON: The top US military officer said on Tuesday that Iran was complying with the pact curbing its nuclear programme and warned that any American decision to walk away from it would make other nations less likely to enter into agreements with the United States.

President Donald Trump is considering whether to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, calling the accord an "embarrassment".

Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran was complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal but had increased its activity in other areas.

"Iran is projecting malign influence across the Middle East, threatening freedom of navigation, while supporting terrorist organisations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen," Gen Dunford said.

The committee's top Democrat, Senator Jack Reed, asked Gen Dunford whether walking away from the Iran nuclear pact would affect the US ability to negotiate with North Korea or come up with a non-military solution towards Pyongyang.

"It makes sense to me that our holding up agreements that we have signed, unless there is a material breech, would have an impact on others' willingness to sign agreements," Gen Dunford said during his reappointment hearing.

Mr Trump this year also announced he would withdraw the US from the international Paris climate agreement.

The ambassadors to the United States from Britain, France, Germany and the European Union all strongly backed the nuclear agreement with Iran on Monday as long as Teheran continues to comply with the pact. - REUTERS

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