Many European leaders have made clear for months that they agree with worldwide inspectors that Iran is abiding by limits on its nuclear program set out in the deal it made with the US under former President Barack Obama and five other world powers.
The nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers - the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the bad flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said.
The nuclear deal removed a number of sanctions on the Central Bank, and there had been reports that Trump would impose new sanctions, albeit not for reasons related to Iran's nuclear development. Trump wants them to help the US devise a new agreement created to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.
To fix what he described "disastrous flaws" in the deal, Trump demanded that Iran be denied "all paths to a nuclear weapon not just for 10 years, but forever", and that Tehran allow "immediate inspections at all sites requested by global inspectors". Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the US of failing to comply with it.
"The Trump administration's policy announced today sets impossible standards that would ultimately isolate the United States rather than isolating the regime in Tehran", he said.
The president wants US Congress to modify a law that reviews US participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said. And even proponents of the deal say it's good to keep the pressure on Iran's other nefarious activities - a ballistic missile program, its human rights record, et cetera.
Trump had privately chafed at having to once again waive sanctions on a country he sees as a rising threat in the Middle East.
The White House wants European Union signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment.
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The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed by the USA under the previous administration of President Barack Obama as well as Iran, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
After the President's announcement on Friday, Obama officials who helped negotiate the 2015 agreement reiterated that the accord ensures Iran can not obtain a nuclear weapon.
To keep the 2015 deal alive before he is required to sign another waiver in 120 days from now, Trump outlined four "critical components" that must be included in United States legislation regarding Iran.
The EU said in a statement it had taken note of Trump's decision and would assess its implications.
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.
At least 8,000 people have been arrested as anti-government protests in Iran enter their third week.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow has a "very negative stance" on the decisions and comments made by Trump about Iran, according to state news agency Sputnik.
The announcement came as the Treasury Department placed sanctions on 14 individuals and entities for alleged offenses unrelated to Iran s nuclear industry.
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