Trump not to re-impose sanctions on Iran

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

The president faced a Friday deadline to decide whether to reimpose tough economic sanctions on Iran's central bank that the Obama administration dropped as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated with Tehran by the United States and five other countries.

US President Donald Trump, a critic of the 2015 accord to prevent Iran developing nuclear arms, said he would extend sanctions relief one last time.

In return, decades of global and U.S. nuclear-related sanctions were suspended, and the United States president must sign a waiver suspending them every 120 days.But Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the deal - reached under his predecessor Barack Obama - as "the worst ever".

The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed by the USA under the previous administration of president Barack Obama as well as Iran, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said in a statement, after he grudgingly agreed not to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Tehran. The follow-on agreement that Trump wants would include "triggers" that would automatically re-impose sanctions should Iran break certain thresholds regarding its ballistic missile program, nuclear breakout, and inspections and would eliminate the sunset clauses now in the agreement.

Trump was reportedly encouraged to waive the sanctions by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security advisor H.R. McMaster, who warned the President that it would look like he was breaking the USA commitments of the deal.

Also on Friday, the United States imposed separate sanctions against 14 Iranian individuals and entities it accuses of rights abuses, censorship and support for weapons proliferators.

"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29", Zarif said Friday on Twitter. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the USA of failing to comply with it.

The JCPOA aimed to gradually lift economic and diplomatic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran ending its nuclear program. The argument for staying in, the official said, was to allow time to toughen the terms of the agreements.

Trump also wants to make Iran's long-range missile program subject to sanctions under the agreement.

As part of an agreement with Congress, the president has to sign a waiver suspending the sanctions every 120 days.

However, Trump, who has vowed to scrap the pact, was expected to give the U.S. Congress and European allies a deadline for improving it, the person said.

The sanctions are related to "serious human rights" abuses, censorship, and weapons issues, a Treasury Department spokesperson said. In a statement that was released on Saturday, January 13, 2018, the minister of foreign relations in Iran said that the trump administration was conducting an act against their country that was illegal and at the same time hostile by including their chief of the judiciary in the list of sanctioned companies and individuals.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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