The Trump Administration has been very clear from the start that Iran is among the list of nations they’d very much like to pick a fight with, and today reiterated how unhappy they are with the P5+1 nuclear deal, though they were ultimately forced to concede that Iran is complying with it.
While grousing about what a “bad deal” they believe it was, Trump Administration officials accused Iran of having violated “the spirit” of the deal, offering absolutely no details on what that even means, or how the administration,which has repeatedly gone on record as not liking the deal in the first place, interprets that spirit.
It’s a problematic position, but mostly boils down to the Trump Administration being keen to have some excuse to “rip up” the nuclear deal as they’d long threatened to do, and being incredibly annoyed at the fact that they don’t have a pretext to do so.
This has officials publicly admitting that Iran is complying with the deal, and threatening new sanctions against them anyhow, because that compliance “won’t go unpunished.” This is a confusing position that’s likely to be a problem for the other P5+1 members, who already see the US, and not Iran as the weak link in the deal.
Even more puzzled that those partner nations however is Iran, whose Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was very public about how his government is having a heck of a time parsing the various mixed signals from the United States as any sort of coherent policy, let alone how to proscribe a policy for themselves that won’t lead to the US being furious at them.