Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Trump stops imposition of nuke sanctions vs Iran

Steven Mnuchin testifying during his Senate Finance committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Jan. 19 2017 Trump stops imposition of nuke sanctions vs Iran
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 15:33

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement Friday that he is willing to approve new sanctions on Iran is a "desperate attempt to undermine a solid multilateral agreement". The next sanctions waivers are due in May.

He said the idea of forming political coalitions, excluding others and considering those who are not with us as enemies had been imposed by the hegemonic powers on the world, adding that such ideas have directed the world toward enmity, extremism and conflicts, reports IRNA news agency. Trump wants them to help the US devise a new agreement created to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.

The nuclear deal was negotiated with Iran by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

Calling it " the last chance", Trump said in a White House statement that his country "will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal". "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", he warned.

So far, Trump has continued to follow Obama's lead in regularly signing sanctions waivers so that U.S. economic measures against Tehran do not "snap back".

He said Iran's restraint on long-range ballistic missile programs also must be linked to sanctions relief.

United Nations inspectors have certified Iran's compliance with the deal nine times, most recently in November.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that he was working with Congress on legislative changes that would "strengthen the way the US enforces the agreement".

The US Treasury Friday announced sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities, including the head of Iran's judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, for human rights abuses and supporting Tehran's ballistic missile programme.

While there may be some relief that Trump has yet to torpedo the hard-won accord, there were clear signs of frustration from European capitals in the runup to the decision.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a telephone call with Trump on Thursday, emphasized France's "determination to see the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it", Macron's office said.