Waiving sanctions on Iran for what he says is the final time, President Donald Trump has warned that unless "terrible flaws" in the 2015 nuclear deal are fixed, the United States will withdraw from it.
Senior administration officials said this would be the last time Trump would extend the current sanctions waiver unless he can reach a deal with European allies that would put tougher restrictions on Iran, including limits to its ballistic missile program.
A senior administration official said Trump wants the 2015 Iran deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the global pact.
Trump has gnashed his teeth at having to waive the sanctions again, believing his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama, negotiated a bad deal for the United States in agreeing to the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "In absence of such an agreement [between the USA and European powers], the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal".
The ministry added, "The internal solidity of and worldwide support for the agreement have blocked attempts by Mr. Trump, the Zionist regime and the ominous alliance of hard-line warmongers to terminate this agreement or make changes to it". Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the USA of failing to comply with it.
Iran promised a strong reaction to the sanctions, which it said violate global law and prior USA commitments. The argument for staying in, the official said, was to allow time to toughen the terms of the agreements.
Washington also announced sanctions against 14 entities and people, including the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani. She underlined Washington's strong message by saying that America would not tolerate "dangerous and destabilizing behavior" and expected that other nations would join the United States in its efforts.
Trump said he wants Congress to fix "the deal's many flaws" such as existing sunset provisions.
Trump said he would waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the global deal for the last time unless his conditions were met.
Under the accord, Iran slowed its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of worldwide economic sanctions.
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