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Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions 'for last time'

14 Января 2018

Senior administration officials said this would be the last time Trump would extend the current sanctions waiver unless he can reach a deal with European allies that would put tougher restrictions on Iran, including limits to its ballistic missile program.

Iran has said its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful uses.

But he also made clear these waivers will be the last, unless what he calls serious flaws in the agreement are addressed by the spring.

Iran said on Saturday it would not accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

But the president also promised to scrap the landmark agreement in 120 days if Congress and European allies don't meet his new demands for strengthening the deal - throwing down the gauntlet on a signature achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

Bhala, the Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, said the announcement is important in that "it preserves the July 2015 Nuclear Deal, for now, which the other countries in the deal also support". Trump said U.S. law must tie long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs together, making any missile testing by Iran subject to "severe sanctions".

Trump demanded a follow-on agreement with European partners as well as an amendment to United States law linked to the Iran nuclear deal, senior administration officials said on Friday.

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Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) didn't like the idea of waiving Iran's nuclear sanctions.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to tear up what he has described as "the worst deal ever negotiated". Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

Iran on Saturday responded by saying it will "accept no change in the letter and spirit of the nuclear accord", and called the new sanctions the US imposed on Iranian individuals and organizations "unfair and hostile". During Barack Obama's presidency, these penalties largely cut Iran out of the global financial system, until they were suspended under the nuclear deal.

The president wants Congress to modify a law that reviews U.S. participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

The ministry added the president is "continuing to take hostile measures against the Iranian people and repeating the threats that have failed many times".

"While Britain may move to support the US on this, Germany and France are likely to be strongly opposed", he said.

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Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions 'for last time'