Trump keeps US in Iran nuclear deal, but levies more sanctions

World Today

Iran nuclear deal

U.S. President Donald Trump waived sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal, Friday, but added additional sanctions on Tehran.

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned 14 companies and individuals in Iran and China — in connection with alleged human rights violations and weapons proliferation. Targets include the head of the Iran judiciary, Sadegh Amoli Larijani, and a Chinese ceramics company called BOCHUANG CERAMIC, INC.


In a statement, Trump said, “Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”

Trump plans to negotiate a separate agreement to address flaws he says exists in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the 2015 agreement. He would negotiate that deal with the UK, France, and Germany – but not with Russia, China, and Iran. A White House spokesperson says that deal should address Tehran’s ballistic missile program, tighten inspections, eliminate the agreement’s sunset clauses and limit Iran to a one year breakout to obtain a nuclear weapon.

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif said, “Trump’s policy & today’s announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement… JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran.”

It’s unclear whether the UK, France, and Germany plan to engage in these negotiations.

“As a first step, we will coordinate with the E3 and the other EU Member States to jointly assess the statement and its implications.” said Catherine Ray, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“We remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

The Germany foreign office tweeted that it, too, is taking time to coordinate with its European partners on how to respond, but remains committed to the Iran nuclear deal.

“If the president gets what he wants from the European, then he’s willing to stay in the deal and keep waiving the sanctions,” said a White House official.
“Then we achieve a permanent bar on Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon or a long-range ballistic missile. That’s the definition of success.”

The next deadline to waive sanctions under the agreement is the middle of May.

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