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Reluctant Donald Trump grants sanctions relief to Iran one last time

14 January 2018

Calling it " the last chance", Trump said in a White House statement that his country "will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal".

President Donald Trump gave the Iran nuclear deal a final reprieve on Friday but warned European allies and Congress they had to work with him to fix "the disastrous flaws" in the pact or face a US exit, Reuters reports.Trump said he would waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the global deal for the last time unless his conditions were met.

The solidity of Iran and worldwide support for the agreement have blocked attempts by Trump and Israel to terminate this agreement or make changes to it, said the statement. To keep the U.S. in the nuclear agreement in the future, senior administration officials said Trump will pressure European partners to agree to impose new conditions on Iranian behavior.

Trump's stance on the accord "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", he added.

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Trump's remarks by saying on Twitter that the nuclear deal was not renegotiable and that the U.S. must comply with it fully.

"Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

Trump also extended the waivers of key economic sanctions that were lifted under the agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program. The next sanctions waivers are due in May. 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.

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His statement came a day after the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, together with foreign ministers of France, the United Kingdom and Germany delivered a strong defense of the deal in separate statements, which were issued following a meeting with Zarif in Brussels.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal that limits Iran's nuclear programme.

Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May.

Washington is expected to impose fresh penalties against Russian Federation as soon as early February for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential vote.

In August, US President Donald Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions drafted by US lawmakers.

The most prominent new name on the Treasury sanctions blacklist, which forbids Americans from doing business with the targets, is the head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Amoli Larijani.

In his statement Friday, Trump said he remained open to revising the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, or INARA. He said Iran's restraint on long-range ballistic missile programs also must be linked to sanctions relief.

Reluctant Donald Trump grants sanctions relief to Iran one last time