World

Trump keeps Iran nuclear deal intact but adds unrelated sanctions on Tehran

Trump keeps Iran nuclear deal intact but adds unrelated sanctions on Tehran

US President Donald Trump was set Friday to decide whether to jeopardize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing American sanctions, against the wishes of European leaders who say the agreement is working just fine. The next sanctions waivers are due in May.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has repeatedly found Iran is complying with those obligations.

Trump also wants Iran's ballistic missile programme to be addressed.

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

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries, namely, China, Russia, Britain, France, the USA and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

On Friday, the White House said that Trump would waive sanctions against Iran to keep the deal alive, but it would be the "last time" unless the USA and Europe reach an agreement in the next 120 days to strengthen the landmark agreement.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took to Twitter to describe Trump's decision and the announcement as "desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement". "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", Trump said in a statement.




So far, Trump has continued to follow Obama's lead in regularly signing sanctions waivers so that U.S. economic measures against Tehran do not "snap back".

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

The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, lifted global sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program.

In his statement Friday, Trump said he remained open to revising the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, or INARA.

The EU said it would hold internal consultations and was "committed to the continued full and effective implementation" of the deal.

The Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany threw their weight behind the pact limiting Iran's nuclear ambitions and insisted that the Islamic Republic is respecting it.


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