Iran rebuffs Donald Trump's demand for more nuclear negotiation

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis right listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 10 2018 in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to issue a waiver on key Iran sanctions but has warned that this is the final time he'll hold off on upending the nuclear deal.

A senior administration official said Trump wants the 2015 Iran deal strengthened or he will unilaterally withdraw from the worldwide pact.

Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the United States lifted as part of the deal.

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the bad flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", he said in his statement.

The ministry's statement said the move meant that Trump's opposition to his predecessor's sponsored deal is not being accepted by the worldwide community.

"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", he said.

US officials said the new sanctions were for human-rights abuses by the Iranian regime during its response to civil protests, and for weapons proliferation.

Despite the lopsided cohort in favor the deal, the president has continued to recoil at the prospect of extending sanctions to Iran given his personal animus toward the deal and campaign promise to rip up the worldwide accord during his first term in office. These and other sanctions also continue to divert investors from sinking money into Iran's vulnerable economy.

"JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, United States must bring itself into full compliance - just like Iran", Zarif wrote of the nuclear deal.

Iran has said that a decision by the United States, to impose sanctions on the head of its judiciary "crossed a red line", and has vowed to retaliate.

The U.S. president must sign a waiver suspending the U.S. sanctions on Iran every 120 days. Nephew, a former White House and State Department Iran sanctions expert, said legislation could be drafted that might appear to assuage Trump's concerns, but that getting Iran to agree to allow unfettered global inspections or to no time limits on the nuclear deal's restrictions was impossible. "It is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check and under close surveillance", Mogherini said, adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency had shown in nine reports that Iran is meeting its commitments.

Iran warned in August that it could return "within five days" to high-level enrichment if the USA pulled out of the deal.

"Naming and shaming Sadegh Larijani is one small way the USA can bring its human-rights policy and coercive economic strategy against Iran into greater alignment", said Behnam Ben Taleblu, Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.

"These designations politically will go to the top of the regime", said another administration official, also speaking anonymously, "and send the message that the United States will not tolerate the violation of the rights of [Iranian] citizens".

He told the worldwide community, in particular his European allies, either to fix the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or he would withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear deal.

While Trump approved a sanctions waiver, the treasury department chose to impose new, targeted sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people.

As he did in October, Trump again declined to certify to Congress that the nuclear agreement is in the nation's best interest.

The announcement came as the Treasury Department placed sanctions on 14 individuals and entities for alleged offenses unrelated to Iran s nuclear industry.

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