Iran calls new United States sanctions bluff
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 8:08
However since assuming the presidency, he has tempered his position, suggesting that he is studying the accord with an eye for its details, and that he is yet to reach a final position on its contents.
The Trump administration, dominated by fiercely anti-Iran sentiment, balanced sanction waivers with new measures against Iranian defense officials and a Chinese business tied to Tehran's ballistic missile program.
Additionally, the Treasury Department said the sanctions waiver "does not diminish the United States's resolve to continue countering Iran's destabilizing activity in the region..."
"If they don't renew the waivers they will have a big mess on their hands", Timothy O'Toole, a sanctions attorney at a U.S. law firm told Financial Times.
The deal doesn't prohibit the US or other countries from imposing new sanctions on Iran for its missile program, terrorism or other reasons, although Tehran has threatened to pull out of the deal if the USA and other countries do so. While Rouhani will be able to point to the Trump administration's granting of continued sanctions relief as a victory of the nuclear deal that was achieved on his watch, such grandstanding may have lost the effect that it once had. President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who helped orchestrate the 2015 nuclear deal, is seeking a second four-year term against cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who has the backing of Iranian hard-liners.
The new sanctions from the Treasury are much more specific in scope, targeting two senior Iranian defence officials and suppliers of missile equipment, in apparent retaliation for a recent missile test, and for Iran's support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and national security experts from the administration of former President Barack Obama have thrown their weight behind a newly formed organization called "Diplomacy Works", which aims to which aims defend the nuclear deal.
The United States passed up a chance to reimpose sanctions on Tehran's nuclear program Wednesday, deciding to stand by an global accord two days before Iran goes to the polls.
The State Department also released a report on Iran's human rights violations that's required by Congress every six months. The administration is now reviewing the deal. He is seen by many as close to Mr Khamenei and has even been talked about as a possible successor to him.
All five remaining candidates in the race have said they would uphold the nuclear deal.
Washington has maintained a raft of other sanctions related to human rights and the missile programme that continue to stifle Iran's efforts to rebuild its foreign trade. The Trump administration hit the ground running, re-imposing sanctions against Iran in its first weeks in office and also instating restrictions against those who are complicit with Tehran.
"The deal won't go anywhere next week", said Suzanne Maloney, an Iran analyst at the Brookings Institution.
Information for this article was contributed by Josh Lederman of The Associated Press and by Carol Morello of The Washington Post.