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Trump Administration Upholds Iran Sanctions Waiver, Keeping Nuclear Deal Alive

Trump Administration Upholds Iran Sanctions Waiver, Keeping Nuclear Deal Alive

But it imposed new measures to punish Iranian defence officials and a Chinese business tied to Tehran's ballistic missile programme, which it says is in breach of global law because they could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

"This administration is committed to countering Iran's destabilizing behavior, such as Iran's development of ballistic missiles and support to the Assad regime", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in announcing the sanctions.

Wednesday's sanctions target Iranian military officials along with an Iranian company and China-based network accused of supplying Iran with materials for ballistic missiles, the State Department said.

The agreement must be renewed every 120 days, or about every four months.

Better to have a plan to deal with Iran in place before Trump demands changes in the agreement that would force the Iranians to either limit their nuclear program or scuttle the deal.

During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to tear up the nuclear deal, which he called "the worst deal ever negotiated" but since he took office, his advisors have warned that this move would be more complicated than he thought, mainly because the deal also involves the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United Nations.

Richard Nephew, a former U.S. negotiator with Iran now at Columbia University, called the renewal an "important step" in maintaining the deal but said it was still threatened by "congressional pressure, Republican politics, and the views of many people" in the Trump administration.

Former President Barack Obama's administration renewed a series of waivers to USA sanctions on Iran in mid-January 2017, just before he left office.

Iranian's are fiercely divided over whether the nuclear deal with the West was a good idea.

The Donald Trump administration waived nuclear-related sanctions on Iran today in accordance with the landmark nuclear deal while ripping the country over its ballistic missile program and human rights record. The waivers were set to expire Wednesday. Under the 2015 nuclear agreement, the USA lifted those sanctions.

The waivers are a central component of the Iran deal that President Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent, has built his reputation on.

The United States claims that Iran's missile tests violated Resolution 2231, which was adopted in July 2015 to endorse the nuclear agreement.

Europe's leaders are quickly moving forward on economic normalisation with Iran, and scuttling the nuclear deal would have wide-ranging diplomatic repercussions with major allies, she said.

It is very likely that Trump's tactic of keeping old sanctions at bay while imposing new ones is meant to demolish any accusation that he is softening his position on Iran.

The deal is also controversial inside the Trump administration, with some officials pushing for the United States to walk away from the agreement and others urging more restraint.


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