Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now

ATTA KENARE

He said the new deal should curb Iran's missile programme and include permanent restrictions on Iran's nuclear plants, removing expiration dates due to kick in after a decade. Under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025.

The waiver has to do with the Joint Commission Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. Some, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, had speculated that the agreement would have collapsed without U.S. involvement.

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

But the president only has 90 days until the next deadline for certifying Iran's compliance.

The US Treasury said Larijani, the brother of Iran's parliamentary speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, is to blame for the torture and degrading treatment of prisoners.

"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a statement.

The Trump administration also announced new sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities over what his administration sees as serious human rights abuses and support of weapons development.

That doesn't seem likely to happen; the other European nations in the agreement don't want to renegotiate the deal without Iran's consent - and Iran's foreign minister says the deal "is not renegotiable".

The landmark 2015 deal curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for the relaxing of punishing sanctions

On Thursday, the European Union and member states urged Trump not to withdraw form the agreement, with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini saying the deal is "working" and "making the world safer".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically meant to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" in the accord. Trump is also waiving other US penalties covered by the agreement, including on Iran's oil and gas sectors, which were up for renewal next week.

Trump's declaration puts great pressure on Britain, France and Germany, the European signatories to nuclear pact with Iran.

Although the United States has suspended sanctions against Iran following the nuclear deal, it still imposes punitive measures over issues such as terrorism, human rights and ballistic missile development. Officials, congressional aides and outside administration advisers said had the president would likely extend the sanctions waivers, citing progress in amending USA legislation that governs Washington's participation in the deal. The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions. "It's going to be complicated to save the deal after this", said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We have also heeded that the worldwide community universally support the JCPOA and fully recognize the efforts made by Iran to implement it", he said.

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully.

The president also wants the US Congress to amend a law on US participation in the nuclear deal, so that Washington could reimpose all sanctions if Iran breaches certain "trigger points".

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