State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert led a press briefing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday at the Department of State. Questions transcript: MS NAUERT: Carol with The Washington Post. QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. As I'm sure you're well aware, after a very brief honeymoon you've come under a great deal of personal criticism from critics who say you've been presiding over a hollowing out of the department, low morale, and a department that seems sidelined. Could you respond directly to some of the criticism and tell us if any of it has â€“ you have taken it to heart and changed in any way because of that criticism? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I hope what â€“ the little stroll I just took you around the world indicates the building is hardly hollowed out. All of that activity I was describing to you, and as I said, has been undertaken using the expertise of the people in this building. Any time you have a dramatic change in the administration, like we had six months ago, there are going to be individuals who struggle with that. And I spoke to this on the day â€“ first day I entered the building and gave my remarks on the steps of the State Department, that I recognized that and that I hope people could put those feelings aside and commit themselves to the mission. And my observation has been that the vast majority of people in the building have done that. Has everyone done it? No. Some people are still struggling to get over that and that's â€“ those are the voices that generally are heard. I have a very active engagement with people in the building. I meet up to three times a week with the under secretaries, the assistant secretaries; I do lunches with Foreign Service officers once a month; I do town halls, so I'm listening to people and getting a sense of how they are feeling about things. And the people that I'm coming into contact with are excited about the redesign, they're excited about hopefully getting some assistance on some areas that have troubled them for a long time, and I think they're beginning to understand that the mission of the State Department is to lead America's foreign policy, create conditions for a better, more secure U.S., more prosperous U.S., and we do that at home, we do it abroad. That mission doesn't change. The policy that we are leading is dictated by the President of the United States, who was selected by the American people. So we are working on behalf of the American people who selected this President to carry out his foreign policies, and then all of the professionalism and the skill that people have in this building to do that, they dedicate themselves to doing that. And my experience is that people â€“ that's where people are. The ones I work with, they are very dedicated to that. Have I encountered some people on the way that didn't want to do that, couldn't do that? Yes. And we have given them permission to go do something else. And I say that not in a pejorative way, but we have had individuals who did not want to serve in a certain role, and I said fine. Find something else for them to do. I don't want to force anybody into a position they're not committed to. So we have these conversations with people. Yes, I think it's â€“ it is to be expected that we will go through some morale issues early on. I hope as the redesign goes forward and people become more engaged in that, that there is going to be an uptick in that. I'm mindful of it, I pay attention to it. I cannot change what we're doing from a policy standpoint, if that's what's behind people's unhappiness. MS NAUERT: Rich Edson, Fox News. QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. As you go through this Iran review in the administration and there are different points of view, are you of the point of view that perhaps the JCPOA and waiving sanctions or a failure â€“ or not waiving those sanctions could create an issue, given that the assets have already been unfrozen, coordinating with European allies potentially being a problem to try to get them to impose sanctions? And is there an avenue where the administration might seek stricter enforcement of that agreement? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think the unfortunate aspect of the agreement is that a lot of the â€“ a lot of the benefits to Iran for signing the agreement were up front. I mean, they kind of got the immediate payoff with the release of a lot of cash to them. They got the immediate lifting of the sanctions before they ever had to deliver on anything. And I think that's the frustrating part of this agreement is there are limited levers available to us if we're unhappy with what they're doing, other than to say we're not going to waive sanctions going forward. It is important in my view that we coordinate as much as we can with our European allies and with Russia and China, who are signatories as well, because the greatest pressure we can put to bear on Iran to change behavior is a collective pressure. We are in discussions with in particular, our European allies about their view of how Iran is doing under the agreement. They have generally acknowledged that in the past, this â€“ the administration and the U.S. in the past did not lean into Iran very hard, they didn't demand very much of them under the agreement, and in fact, they want to do the same, so we are getting good agreement from them on leaning into Iran. Again, how the agreement serves our purpose going forward, it's kind of every 90 days we get to ask ourselves that question, and that's just something that the U.S. Congress put in place. So it is important in our view that we keep the allies with us. MS NAUERT: All right. Nicolas, since it's your last day, I think you get to have the last question. QUESTION: Thank you, a follow-up. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for this opportunity and thank you to the Department of State for these five terrific years. I think it's very important for international readership to be able to explain the complexity of the U.S. foreign policy. Just to follow up on Iran's question, are you personally in favor of mentioning the U.S. commitment to the JCPOA? And what would you respond, what would you say to element of the â€“ of this administration, and especially the White House, who would be tempted to pull the U.S. out of the agreement? And maybe just a more personal question: Three weeks ago when you came back from the Gulf, you had a very telling and frank conversation with our colleagues. Could you describe your relationship with the President, and do you enjoy the job you are â€“ you have been doing for six months? Thank you. SECRETARY TILLERSON: With respect to the JCPOA, I view â€“ it's an agreement. It's an agreement that should serve Americans â€“ America's interests first and foremost, and if it doesn't serve that interest, then why would we maintain it? Now, we have to hold the other side accountable, and I think if you read the full context of the JCPOA, it is about nuclear programs, but there's another part of that agreement that talks about the fact that with this agreement, Iran will become a good neighbor â€“ now, I'm paraphrasing a lot of language â€“ they'll become a good neighbor, that Iran is called upon to no longer develop its ballistic missiles. There's a lot of things that people expected would happen in agreeing to this arrangement on the nuclear program, including all the benefits that Iran would get up front. From our perspective â€“ and that's why I say the JCPOA represents a small slice of the Iranian relationship and our view of it â€“ and I think the general view, and I would say it's not just ours, but the view of many others is Iran has not been a good neighbor in the region, it has not stopped its ballistic missile program, and so the spirit of the agreement has been violated. Now, how do we want to translate that into what does that mean if we say the spirit of the agreement's been violated? Do we want to tear it up and walk away? Do we want to make the point to Iran that we expect you to get back in line with the spirit of the agreement and we're going to stay here and hold you accountable to it? There are a lot of â€“ I think there are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran. And that's what the conversation generally is around with the President as well, is what are all those options. Now, with respect to my relationship with the President, it's good. The President has repeatedly expressed his confidence in me. We have a good relationship. I talk to him just about every day. I see him several times a week. He calls me late at night on the weekends when something comes into his head and he wants to talk. He may call me at any moment at any time, but it is a very open relationship, and it's one in which I feel quite comfortable telling him my views. And he and I have differences of views on things like JCPOA and how we should use it. We have differences of â€“ but I think if we're not having those differences, I'm not sure I'm serving him. And so that's â€“ I would tell you the relationship between the President and myself is good. That's how I view it anyway. MS NAUERT: All right. Everyone, thank you so much. The Secretary has some meetings.