Trump Administration Upholds Iran Sanctions Waiver, Keeping Nuclear Deal Alive
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 16:20
The United States has decided not to re-impose sanctions on Iran's Nuclear Programme.
The dual actions, announced by the Departments of State and Treasury, appeared meant to signal a tough stance on Iran even as Trump continued predecessor President Barack Obama's pact under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.
"In renewing waivers of USA sanctions, the Trump administration has once again grudgingly acknowledged that Iran continues to abide by its obligations under the agreement".
Still, the USA paired the announcement with new, unrelated sanctions that go after Iran for a ballistic missiles program that Washington fears could target American interests in the Middle East or key allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.
North Korea possesses nuclear weapons, and many western countries as well as security experts suspect that Iran harbours designs to acquire atomic arms for itself, in addition to its suspected arsenal of chemical weapons that were produced during the 1980s.
Although oil sales have rebounded since the deal came into effect in January 2016, Iran's continued exclusion from the global banking system has prevented it from signing much needed trade and investment deals with Europe and Asia. Rouhani's opponents have targeted the nuclear accord, saying he has failed to deliver on promises that the agreement would bring a boom in foreign investment and an improvement in living standards.
Some of those waivers come up for review this week, for the first time since Trump was elected after warning during his presidential campaign that he might rip up the agreement.
The U.S. will continue to "scrutinize Iran's commitment" to the nuclear deal while developing a "comprehensive Iran policy", Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones said in a statement.
After accusing Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the deal, the new Republican president said in April that his administration was analyzing the JCPOA and would "have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future".
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its missile programme with power and authority based on its plans", he said. One of the officials is the director of Iran's Shahid Bakeri Industries Group. By ratifying the plan, Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
Although Trump continued ex-president Barack Obama's pact, which he has always been criticizing and ordered to review the deal, the US has a tough position towards Islamic Republic.
President Obama tried to change the situation by offering to lift worldwide sanctions if Iran gave up its nuclear development.
The US on Wednesday renewed a waiver of the key, and most punitive, sanctions that it imposed on Iran before the nuclear deal was ultimately struck.