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Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, but for last time

Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, but for last time

European countries have benefited from renewed trade with Iran as sanctions have been lifted, while US companies are still largely barred from doing business with the Islamic Republic due to other sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue.

"The president will also make clear that this is the last such waiver he will issue", an official said during the briefing, according to The Hill.

At the same time the USA imposed fresh sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over alleged rights abuses.

Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the United States lifted as part of the deal.

The White House wants European Union signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment. The administration would like nuclear sanctions to snap-back on Tehran if it falls back into old habits after prohibitions outlined in the deal have expired.

One of the criticisms levelled at the nuclear deal is that it does nothing to address Iran's continuing ballistic missile program and involvement in conflicts such as Yemen and Syria.

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What are the new sanctions? The president came close to making such a promise in a tweet on New Year's Day that began with "Iran is failing at every level despite the bad deal made with them by the Obama Administration" and ended with the exclamation "TIME FOR CHANGE!" 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 US and banning Americans from doing business with them.

Although Boeing asserts that the company "follow [s] the USA government's lead" regarding business with Iran, that does not mean that Boeing removes itself from the legislative process in Congress when potential clients come under scrutiny by lawmakers. "You can expect there will be more sanctions coming". In October, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reaffirmed that all nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA had been implemented, stressing that Tehran is subject to the "world's most robust nuclear verification regime" and that so far the IAEA has "had access to all locations it needed to visit". They said the deal was vital for global security and the British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said a better deal would be hard to come by. Indeed, these comments immediately preceded similarly vague threats from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, unrelated to the nuclear deal. As part of an agreement with Congress, the president has to sign a waiver suspending the sanctions every 120 days.

To put it plainly, European allies have discovered that with a lot of pushing they can stop Mr Trump from pursuing what they consider disastrous foreign policies. That keeps the landmark 2015 nuclear deal alive for at least another several months, despite Trump's past vows to scuttle the accord. At the time, the President warned that he would take further action to nullify the deal if Congress and the allies did not act.

"The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent worldwide drug trafficking operations", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Some Iran hawks want to see both sets of restrictions return, but the six people with knowledge of Trump's plans say the president isn't planning to reinstate either at this point.

He didn't say exactly what European allies must do beyond addressing the deal's flaws, countering Tehran's aggression and "supporting the Iranian people". Others were linked to support for the country's ballistic missile program.


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