Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Donald Trump keeps Iran nuclear deal alive by waiving economic sanctions

Donald Trump keeps Iran nuclear deal alive by waiving economic sanctions

Under the terms of the landmark agreement the United States president must certify the deal every 90 days and pass sanction waivers every 120 days.

Trump wants to agree with Europe on an American-European agreement to re-impose sanctions on Iran even if it takes steps to renew some aspects of its nuclear program twenty or thirty years from today.

Iran on Saturday rejected any modification of its nuclear deal with world powers after US President Donald Trump demanded tough new measures to keep the agreement alive.

Responding to Trump's harsh stance, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that it was "desperate attempts" to undermine an accord which Iran said was "not renegotiable".

Russian Federation - one of the parties to the Iran pact alongside the United States, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - called Trump's comments "extremely negative".

The Trump administration's sanctions also are intended at hindering Iran's ballistic missile program and other alleged "illicit activities".

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran is complying with the terms of the deal, but Trump has long called the agreement "the worst deal ever".

"If at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", said Trump in the statement.

He also wants Tehran's ballistic missile program to be addressed.

Additionally, along with pushing the deal back to Congress, the President authorized the U.S. Treasury to impose sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which he called a "corrupt personal terror force".

The deadlines for a number of these waivers to be renewed will fall over the coming week, and Trump is obliged to decide whether or not to maintain sanctions relief.

In turn, Iran would be allowed to lift all nuclear- related economical sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets.

While approving the waiver on U.S. sanctions related to the nuclear deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump has come under heavy pressure from European allies to issue the sanctions waiver.

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries - China, Russia, Britain, France, the United States and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

"While Britain may move to support the US on this, Germany and France are likely to be strongly opposed", he said.

"They should join us in constraining Iran's missile development and stopping its proliferation of missiles, especially to Yemen", he said.

Trump said a new deal must punish Iran if it thwarts worldwide inspectors, and must deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon.

In a statement, the president said, "This is a last chance". Broadly, the sanctions are meant to target Iran's "destabilizing behavior".

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