Trump extends sanctions relief for Iran
- Author: Leroy Wright Jan 13, 2018,
Jan 13, 2018, 8:26
The president decided Friday to continue waiving - that is, easing - some economic sanctions against Iran. The JCPOA, signed by Obama three years ago, lifted sanctions on Iran in return for the regime to put drastic curbs on its nuclear program.
He also approved targeted sanctions against several Iranian government officials for corruption and human rights abuses, some related to anti-government protests that have convulsed Iranian cities this month, the sources said.
The decision was to be announced in a statement issued by the White House a day after Trump engaged in lengthy discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others about the deal.
The official also said that the president has made it clear that this is the "last such waiver" he intends to sign, putting pressure on Congress and the European Union to fix the flaws in the deal.
The US Treasury said Larijani, the brother of Iran's parliamentary speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, is to blame for the torture and degrading treatment of prisoners.
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 Obama.
Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically meant to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" under paragraph 29. Other sanctions target suppliers of Iran's military and Iran's cybersecurity sector, which the administration officials said plays a central role in censorship in Iran.
The focus of today's meeting was on the ongoing work to ensure the full and continued implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], the nuclear deal with Iran, by all parties.
"The deeply flawed Obama "Iran deal" should not be a grant of immunity to Iran from sanctions related to nonnuclear activities", Sen.
Trump said they included the deal's "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment programme after 2025. The next deadline for extending nuclear sanctions relief will come in mid-May. The waivers the president issued Friday make it easier for banks around the world to do business with Iran and for Iran to sell oil.
In addition, the deal must state that Iran's nuclear effort and its missile programs are inseparable.
But the European envoys also questioned Iran's foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, over disputes such as the country's missile program and its role in Syria's war as a key ally of President Bashar Assad.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday that Trump "still strongly believes this was one of the worst deals of all time".
At a meeting with Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, convened by the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini, the European powers that helped negotiate the 2015 accord will reassure Tehran they remain committed to it.
Trump has gotten a lot of pushback from both allies and in his own administration against the idea of pulling out of the deal.