The White House said on Friday that Trump will waive the sanctions against Iran for the "last time", unless an agreement can be reached between the United States and Europe within the next 120 days that would strengthen the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful, signed the deal with the United States, U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany in 2015, allowing for repeated inspections of its nuclear facility in exchange for sanctions relief.
"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".
In a surprise move reportedly recommended by top administration officials, President Donald Trump is expected this week to extend the relief of economic sanctions on Iran stemming from the nuclear agreement.
A senior administration official said Trump wants the 2015 Iran deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the worldwide pact.
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The Treasury Department's action hits 14 Iranian officials and companies and businessmen from Iran, China and Malaysia, freezing any assets they have in the U.S. and banning Americans from doing business with them.
The next deadline to waive sanctions under the agreement is the middle of May.
"Then we achieve a permanent bar on Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon or a long-range ballistic missile". Other sanctions target suppliers of Iran's military and Iran's cybersecurity sector, which the administration officials said plays a central role in censorship in Iran.
Those countries have vowed not to bolt the agreement even if the USA pulls out, but Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday that "Iran's continued compliance [is] conditioned on full compliance by the U.S".
The EU and United Kingdom also acknowledged Trump's announcement, but said they would not decide on a course of action until discussing it further with the deal's European signatories.
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And while Trump approved a sanctions waiver, he also made a decision to impose new, targeted sanctions on Iran, the person said.
The White House wants European Union signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment. Scuttling the nuclear deal would be a disaster, especially with the mass protests going on in Iran right now. The president also gave European allies 120 days to rework the deal or said the United States would withdraw. Or it could keep its end of the bargain and continue doing business with other countries in the deal - France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - and isolate the U.S.
White House is working with Congress on a USA legislation, which seeks provisions to permanently prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and subject Iran's long-range missile program to severe sanctions.
He accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement even though the International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran is complying.
Iran's Foreign Ministry has announced that the country will commit to no obligations beyond those it has already agreed to under an worldwide nuclear deal.
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