Trump gives Iran nuclear deal 'last chance' to fix 'terrible flaws'

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

President Donald Trump said he's extending sanctions relief in order for Congress and European countries to come up with new policies on Iran's nuclear program.

He has called this "the last chance" for the agreement.

People the USA sanctioned on Friday include Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary whose brother, Ali Larijani, leads Iran's parliament.

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully.

The White House said on Friday that Trump will waive the sanctions against Iran for the "last time", unless an agreement can be reached between the USA and Europe within the next 120 days that would strengthen the nuclear deal.

While approving the waiver on United States 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.

"The nuclear deal is an internationally recognized and concluded pact and is not renegotiable", the Foreign Ministry in Tehran said in a statement Saturday.

It did not specify what any retaliation might involve.

America's allies see the accord as the best way to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions and a victory for multilateral diplomacy.

Moscow, for its part, warned Washington that going back on the deal would be a grave mistake.


In a freaky kicker in the waiver announcement, the United States indicated it hopes to rewrite much of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and to get its European allies, who wholly back the deal as it is, to do the bargaining for them, he said.

Trump has argued behind the scenes that the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior US official said. The deputy minister added that their worst expectations and fear were transforming into reality.

Implementation of the deal hasn't been derailed, but will face some new complicating factors, said the minister.

The signatories of the accord were the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said "significant progress" had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to address "flaws in the agreement without violating USA commitments".

Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May. "Abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran will not lead to more stability but rather would endanger world peace".

Shortly after Trump announced his decision, the US Treasury Department slapped 14 individuals and entities responsible for "serious human rights abuses and censorship in Iran" with sanctions.

Officials said the administration will discuss the changes it is seeking with Europeans but will not talk directly with Iran.

The Republican leader grudgingly agreed to sign sanctions waivers, ensuring Washington will live up to its commitments for another 120 days, but he cautioned it would be "for the last time".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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