US extends Iran nuke sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

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Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back at Tillerson, saying "worn-out US accusations" could not "mask its admission of Iran's compliance" with the agreement.

All five remaining candidates in the race have said they would uphold the nuclear deal. The move to extend the sanctions relief in the meantime was another indication Trump may be laying the groundwork to let the deal stand.

The actions, set to take place on Wednesday, represent a significantly more aggressive approach to Iran than under the Obama administration but stop short of an all-out abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers including the United States and Russian Federation.

"The Treasury Department is imposing new sanctions on Iranian defense officials, an Iranian entity, and a China-based network that supplied missile-applicable items to a key Iranian defense entity", Jones said in his statement.

Meanwhile, Tehran underlined that it will not stop its missile program despite a new round of sanctions.

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In a statement, U.S. ambassador to the Middle East Stuart Jones said the United States would continue to waive sanctions that were lifted under the Iran's deal.

"The United States and its partners will continue to apply pressure on Iran to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone in Iran", the State Department said in its report.

Trump threatened to tear up the nuclear deal during his campaign and has launched a review of its terms, but until then he is required to decide on renewing sanctions relief at regular intervals.

At the same time, the USA retains sanctions against Iran on the missile program, human rights and on suspicion that Tehran sponsors terrorism. The Treasury said Farasatpour coordinated the sale and delivery of explosives and other materiel for Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC).

Mr Trump has consistently warned Iran over its missile activity, and has criticised the terms of the deal made by Mr Obama - at one point claiming his "number one priority" if elected would be "to dismantle the disastrous deal".But the other nations involved in the agreement - including China, Russia, and the United Kingdom - believe it is the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

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As it now stands, all candidates have vowed to continue abiding by the JCPOA, including the frontrunning incumbent, President Hassan Rouhani and his closest contender, the hardline conservative cleric, Ibrahim Raisi. The extension of the sanctions comes ahead of Iran's presidential election on Friday. While Trump certainly views Iran with suspicion, it would much rather deal with Rouhani, who has been lauded as a "moderate" willing to deal with the West, than his conservative clerical challenger, Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran said on Thursday that the new U.S sanctions targeting it's ballistic missile program show "ill will" and are likely to undermine the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. The Syrian agency produces unconventional weapons, such as the chemical weapons Assad's forces used earlier this year. He was sanctioned for his involvement in Iran's solid-fuel ballistic missile programme. The same was done for Chinese national Ruan Runling and three associated businesses, along with the Iranian company Matin Sanat Nik Andishan.

The US is continuing to review whether it should continue honouring the nuclear deal.

Under the law, these sanctions can be waived for a maximum of 120 days. Iran is buying 20 of the ATR 72-600 planes.

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