Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

U.S. ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat

Trump on Iran Deal Trump speaks about the Iran nuclear deal in Washington DC
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 14:21

The very next day Iran retaliated, the Foreign Ministry stating that the "hostile and illegal act" that the Trump administration has committed by including Larijani on the sanction list " has gone way beyond all internationally accepted behavior red lines".

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal was struck between the United States, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Iran and five other countries.

"If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume", the president's statement said.

He responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump's stance "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement".

According to anonymous officials on a conference call with various reporters, Trump will not issue any more waivers after Friday unless specific fixes are made to the Iran deal.

This would involve negotiations between the U.S. and its European allies rather than talks with Iran, the official said.

But Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the 2015 deal could not be renegotiated.

"As the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] has not come by easily, all relevant parties should cherish it", Chinese Foreign Minister Lu Kan said on Saturday.

But Trump, who must meet regular deadlines to endorse the deal every 90 days and approve sanctions waivers every 120 and 180 days, has railed against the agreement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that the country will commit to no obligations beyond those it has already agreed to under an worldwide nuclear deal, saying US President Donald Trump's latest decision on the deal undermined the solid multilateral agreement.

The US president also slapped new sanctions against 14 individuals and entities for allegedly committing human rights abuses or supporting the country's ballistic missile programmes. "My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon - not just for 10 years, but forever", Trump said.

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully. It now expires after a decade.

On a tweet on Friday, Mohammed Javad Zarif, the foreign relations minister in Iran said that the USA must be in strict adherence to the terms of the deal just like what was expected of Tehran.

The president charged that Iran has gotten "far too much in exchange for far too little", and threatened not to renew the waivers when the next approval period comes.

In addition, Trump demanded that the deal should state that Iran's nuclear effort and its missile programs are inseparable.

China hopes the landmark agreement, which curbed Iran's nuclear enrichment program in exchange for sanctions relief, will be "universally supported" and the global community will "fully recognize the efforts made by Iran to implement it".

Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May.