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Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now

Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now

US President Donald Trump announced he would not reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran, keeping a landmark 2015 deal alive... for now.

Zarif said Washington was already "maliciously violating" three sections of the agreement, including paragraph 26 which requires the U.S. to "make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting".

Trump, who made his opposition to the 2015 agreement a cornerstone of his presidential election campaign, said he would use the next four months "to secure our European allies' agreement to fix [its] bad flaws".

These penalties largely cut Iran out of the global financial system, until they were suspended by Mr Obama under the nuclear deal.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, accused Trump of "desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", tweeting on Friday: "JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, U.S. must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran".

"This is a last chance", Trump warned in a statement that outlined several tough new rules on Iran.

"Today, we learned that the president's plan includes bullying our allies into fundamentally altering the terms of a deal that they know is working for our mutual security and have publicly stated they have no interest in amending", it said. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.

Britain and Germany said Friday they had taken note of Trump's latest decision and would confer with France before responding. But it has said it would "shred" the deal if Washington quit. Saturday's statement from Iran's foreign ministry further criticised new sanctions on 14 individuals announced by the US Treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

During that four-month period, he wants Congress and America's main European allies to draw up a new deal - without negotiating with Tehran - to replace the "disastrous flaws" in the current agreement. "We are targeting the head of Iranian regime, including the head of Iran's judiciary for the appalling treatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned only for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest of their government". Mr Trump also wants Iran's ballistic missile programme to be addressed.

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

More news: British govt says Trump cancelled United Kingdom visit for fear of protests

"This is the last such waiver he will issue", the official said. Work already has begun on this front, the official said.

"Trump has once again avoided the nuclear option on the nuclear deal". A decision not to waive sanctions could have dealt a fatal blow to the Iran deal by putting the violation of the 2015 JCPOA. "It's going to be complicated to save the deal after this", said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

Referring to Mr Trump's threats to scrap the nuclear deal, the statement said Iran "will not accept any amendments in this agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]".

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's judiciary and others.

Two EU diplomats said EU foreign ministers will discuss what to do now at their next regular meeting, scheduled for January 22 in Brussels.

The Republican leader grudgingly agreed to sign sanctions waivers, ensuring Washington will live up to its commitments for another 120 days, but he cautioned it would be 'for the last time'.

Trump in October chose not to certify compliance and warned he might ultimately terminate the accord. Tehran categorically denies it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif accused Trump of "maliciously violating" the nuclear deal.

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