January 23, 2019

Trump reluctantly grants sanctions waivers to Iran, keeps U.S. in nuclear deal

14 January 2018, 07:47 | Devin Moran

Iran calls fresh US sanctions illegal, hostile

President Donald Trump walks with National Security Adviser H.R. Mc Master from the Oval Office to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday

President Trump said he was giving Europe and the USA "a last chance" to fix "terrible flaws" in the nuclear agreement signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015.

US President Donald Trump, a critic of the 2015 accord to prevent Iran developing nuclear arms, said he would extend sanctions relief one last time.

Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would not accept any renegotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the 2015 nuclear deal, and promised a response to new us sanctions.

"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said in a statement, warning that the options were to fix "the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

Trump said that his decision will give Tehran and America's European allies time to fix the deal's "terrible flaws".

One senior administration official said Trump would be open to remaining in a modified deal if it were made permanent.

This would involve negotiations between the United States and its European allies rather than talks with Iran, the official said. It is also wants to address Iran's ballistic missile programme.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation", said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, adding that Russian Federation would work hard to keep the agreement alive.

"The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustices", a second administration official said, saying some Iranian citizens are in prison "solely for expressing their rights to assembly".

Bhala can discuss why the president's position is wrong as well as the requirements of the deal for the U.S., Iran and worldwide allies.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal that limits Iran's nuclear program.

Europeans say these issues should be kept separate from discussion of the deal, but in a nod to U.S. concerns, Mogherini stressed they were raised with Zarif on Thursday.

Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

US presidents, under existing American law, must waive the sanctions every few months to prevent them from causing Iran to declare the nuclear pact violated and simply walk away to resume pursuit of an atomic arsenal.

But he said he would work with European allies to remove so-called "sunset clauses" that allowed Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iran will never renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as JCPOA, despite the USA pressures.

That balance is aimed at satisfying Trump's demand to raise pressure on Iran, while not embarking on a frontal assault on the most central trade-offs of the nuclear agreement.

The Trump administration also announced a round of sanctions aimed at Iranian figures who had helped suppress recent street demonstrations that turned violent.

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