Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions 'for last time'

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

According to various reports, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Trump's decision crossed a red line and warrants a serious response. But he said he would work with European allies to remove so-called "sunset clauses" that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade.

The US Congress requires the president to approve sanctions waivers related to the deal - signed by Iran, the US, the UK, Russia, France, Germany, China and the European Union - every 120 days.

The official added that President Trump intends to "work with our European partners on some kind of follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime can not exceed related to ballistic missiles, related to nuclear breakout period that holds them to one year or less, would hold them to inspections and would have no sunset clause".

"This is a last chance".

Moscow considers comments by U.S. President Donald Trump on the nuclear deal with Iran as "extremely negative", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in remarks carried by RIA state news agency on Saturday.

Iran says the United States has "crossed a red line" by imposing sanctions on the head of its judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani, BBC reported. One US official told the Washington Times that the actions "will send a very strong message that the United States is not going to tolerate their continued abuses".

"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.

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Trump said that his decision will give Tehran and America's European allies time to fix the nuclear deal's "terrible flaws". The White House wants a deal with European Union signatories to make restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment permanent.

Trump, the same day he waived the nuclear sanctions, imposed new sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses and its military adventurism.

This would be the last time Trump will waive the sanctions as he pursues measures to strengthen the 2015 agreement, the officials said.

A report this week by analysts at the NY financial services company Citigroup said any move to weaken the nuclear deal would cause the "dislocation of at least 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude oil exports, especially those going to Korea and Japan, as well as to some European countries", according to CNBC.

The US still maintains sanctions on Iran - independent of the nuclear deal - on matters such as terrorism, human rights and ballistic missile development.

Mr Trump was a fierce critic during the 2016 election campaign, calling it the "worse deal ever" and promising to scrap it if he became president.

The deal is "not renegotiable", Zarif said.

Moscow has a critical attitude toward the latest US statement on reviewing the Iran nuclear deal and will do all it can to resist any attempt to scrape the deal, Russian authorities said Saturday. The deal, negotiated by the Obama administration is centered exclusively on the Iranian's nuclear weapons program.

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