Iran deal survives, Trump to waive sanctions

Iran deal survives, Trump to waive sanctions

A senior USA administration official said Friday that Trump wants the Iran deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the worldwide pact.

The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini added that the global community must also be united in preserving the deal, which she said helped make the world a safer place and prevent a nuclear arms race in the region.

Although Trump approved the waiver on USA sanctions as spelled out in the deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and individuals, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

US President agreed, on Friday, not to reimpose nuclear sanctions on, but officials warned that it would be the last time he issues such a waiver.

"I hereby call on key European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people", Mr. Trump said in the statement.

"But in his statement, the president will also make clear that this is the last such waiver that he will issue".

Although the US president declined to seize an opportunity to withdraw from the Iran deal - which he has long railed against and formerly promised to "rip up" - he gave a four-month deadline to US Congress and America's main European allies to address what he called the "disastrous flaws" of the deal.

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Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016. "He wants to deny Iran access to nuclear weapons forever and not just for 10 years", one of the officials said.

But the Trump administration indicated on Friday that it was losing patience with Iran. Broadly, the sanctions are meant to target Iran's "destabilizing behavior".

Under its terms, economic sanctions against Iran were to be lifted in exchange for Tehran halting uranium enrichment. Some Iran hawks want to see both sets of restrictions return, but the six people with knowledge of Trump's plans say the president isn't planning to reinstate either at this point. Or it could keep its end of the bargain and continue doing business with other countries in the deal - France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - and isolate the U.S.

Meanwhile, on his official Twitter account, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Trump's decision undermined the multilateral agreement. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the USA of failing to comply with it.

Despite the agreement's extension, the Treasury Department announced a variety of new sanctions against Tehran, specifically targeting the regime's human rights abuses and support of terror organizations.

Trump had certified the deal twice before, and senior officials have grudgingly said Iran is complying.

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