Iran nuclear deal set for reprieve as Trump prepares to extend waivers

The Nation

Calling it "a last chance", Trump said in a White House statement that his country "will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal".

Meanwhile, China and Russian Federation, the other two parties, have also repeatedly called on the United States to maintain its commitment to the Iranian Nuclear deal which is "a beneficial practice of solving a critical issue through political and diplomatic means".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that the country will commit to no obligations beyond those it has already agreed to under an global nuclear deal, saying US President Donald Trump's latest decision on the deal undermined the solid multilateral agreement.

Trump said this is the last chance, and in the absence of an agreement, the USA would not remain a party to the deal.

US President Donald Trump will continue sanctions relief for Iran, keeping the 2015 landmark nuclear deal in place for the time being.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) didn't like the idea of waiving Iran's nuclear sanctions.

But the angst in Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris underlined what is at stake: the mercurial United States president is quite capable of sabotaging the agreement.

In addition to making this decision, the Trump administration has placed new sanctions on 14 Iranian regime persons and entities, including senior judicial figures in the country.

As on so many other foreign-policy matters, the United States finds itself isolated on the issue.

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It saw Iran agree to drastically reduce uranium enrichment activity, dispose of its enriched uranium stocks and modify a heavy water facility so it could not produce material suitable for a nuclear bomb.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran and the other worldwide signatories.

"We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran's judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned exclusively for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged all signatories to the multilateral 2015 agreement on Iran's nuclear program to continue its implementation amid USA threats to withdraw from the deal, Press TV reported.

The last time Trump issued a waiver was in September 2017. But he is not proposing "direct talks" with the Iranian government, the official said. It has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it, but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.

Rouhani had promised that the 2015 deal he struck with Obama and other world leaders would lead to economic improvement, but "Iranians have not seen as robust an economic recovery as many had expected", according to an October 2017 analysis by Zachary Laub of the Council on Foreign Relations. He accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement even though the International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran is complying.

Despite signing off on the waivers, Trump's Treasury Department targeted several Iranian officials with sanctions over human rights abuses and ballistic missile development.

But Trump, who must meet regular deadlines to endorse the deal every 90 days and approve sanctions waivers every 120 and 180 days, has railed against the agreement. French President Emmanuel Macron stressed to Trump in a telephone call on Thursday the importance of abiding by the deal.

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