Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Trump 'set to extend Iran sanctions relief'

Trump Lets The Iran Deal Live — For Another Few Months At Least Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2018, 15:21

Under U.S. law, U.S. businesses may not deal with Iran.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday that Trump "still strongly believes this was one of the worst deals of all time".

According to anonymous officials on a conference call with various reporters, Trump will not issue any more waivers after Friday unless specific fixes are made to the Iran deal.

Trump said he wanted America's European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions, otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.

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. These are separate to the nuclear deal.

The new terms Trump seeks with the European countries appear similar to actions he asked Congress to take three months ago but that Congress has not acted on. Most of those sanctions including the ones imposed on Iran's judiciary chief came as a outcome of the crackdown by the government of its citizens who were protesting peacefully last week.

One of the individuals is Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran's judicial system.

Iran also refused to accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.

Waiving the big sanctions and slapping on some new small ones is a maneuver we've seen the Trump administration do before, as it deals with its dilemma on the nuclear deal.

Trump had faced a Friday deadline to decide on whether to waive the sanctions.

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

The White House said Trump underscored to Macron that Iran must cease its "destabilizing activity" in the region, including its support for terrorism. Work already has begun on this front, the official said.

Iran, despite repeatedly claiming its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes, has vowed to "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out. They argue that if the US pulls out, Iran might kick out global nuclear inspectors.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

Trump, however, is also expected to stress that unless Congress finds a way to deal with certain weak points his administration has identified in the deal, he will, at some point in the future, fulfil his promise to get rid of it altogether.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged all signatories to the multilateral 2015 agreement on Iran's nuclear program to continue its implementation amid United States threats to withdraw from the deal, Press TV reported.

Trump first called on the European nations to reopen the deal to modifications in October; there has been no sign that any party to the deal outside Trump is willing to do so.

Mr Trump has strongly criticised the deal, which was reached during Barack Obama's presidency and helped end a long crisis.

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