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Trump to issue final Iran deal waiver, officials say

13 January 2018

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy", he said.

"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", Zarif tweeted after Trump reluctantly agreed to continuing to waive sanctions under the deal, but warned it could be the last time.

The White House wants European Union signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment.

"However, if the "adults in the room" prevailed this time and kept Trump from exiting the deal, there remains hope they will prevail in the end", he added. Iran must allow "immediate inspections at all sites requested by global inspectors", he said, and "sunset" provisions imposing limits on Iran's nuclear program must not expire.

What are the new sanctions?

China argues against Washington's unilateral anti-Tehran sanctions and speaks for implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, which "has not come by easily", Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters on Saturday.

The US Treasury issued a statement on Friday saying Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani was responsible for the "torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations".

According to the Treasury statement, many Iranians who recently protested against their government are imprisoned at Rajaee Shahr, a facility where prisoners participating in hunger strikes are denied medical care and where there are reported incidents of sexual abuse and unlawful executions, stated the Bloomberg report. USA officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told the Associated Press that Mr. Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people.

Washington policy hawks hailed Trump's decision, which they said would concentrate minds in Europe, where leaders have urged the USA president not to sabotage a deal they see as a landmark diplomatic success.

Back in October, Mr. Trump declared the Iran deal wasn't in the United States' interest.

The landmark 2015 deal curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for the relaxing of punishing sanctions
Trump to issue final Iran deal waiver, officials say

In his lengthy statement, Trump said the US would work with European partners to remove the nuclear deal's so-called "sunset clauses", which allow Iran to gradually resume advanced atomic activity.

Iran's Foreign Ministry, sending a strong message to the United States, has named those, whom they consider to be behind the attempt to undermine the deal, which took years and great diplomatic efforts to reach.

Trump, who has sharply criticized the deal reached in Barack Obama's presidency, had chafed at having to once again waive sanctions on a country he sees as a threat in the Middle East.

Trump's decision to again waive the sanctions related to the 2015 accord was recommended by his entire national security team, including National Security Adviser HR McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The pact is underpinned on the USA side by a presidential waiver of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran's central bank.

What does Mr Trump want to change? "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", he warned. "But the clear reluctance with which he has issued the sanctions waivers will continue to weigh on the business community", said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder of the Europe-Iran Forum, a business network.

Had Trump chose to re-impose sanctions on Iran, it would have been a violation of the nuclear deal.

The top Iranian diplomat said the world has over the past centuries been characterized by a paradigm based on power and zero-sum games, "which has had no result for the people of the world but loss, violence, conflict, and killings".

What have other countries said?

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Trump to issue final Iran deal waiver, officials say