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Reluctant Donald Trump grants sanctions relief to Iran one last time

14 January 2018

Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the Islamic republic will never succumb to pressure of the United States to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran's foreign minister said on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump's latest decision on a nuclear deal between Iran and major powers undermined the solid multilateral agreement.

Trump said he would waive nuclear sanctions against Iran but only as a "last chance" and would not do so again.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran's compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the USA, have failed to live up to their undertakings.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone that implementation of the deal had not been "derailed" but would face "some new complicating factors", the state news agency Xinhua reported.

Trump again waived nuclear-related sanctions on Friday - as required every few months to stay in the agreement - but demanded European partners work with the United States to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw". It has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.

The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, lifted global sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program.

The 2015 deal, he said, "is not renegotiable".

His statement came a day after the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, together with foreign ministers of France, the United Kingdom and Germany delivered a strong defense of the deal in separate statements, which were issued following a meeting with Zarif in Brussels.

A senior administration official said Trump wants the deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the global pact. These penalties largely cut Iran out of the global financial system, until they were suspended by Obama under the nuclear deal.

Trump laid out conditions to keep Washington in the deal.

The Republican leader grudgingly agreed to sign sanctions waivers, ensuring Washington will live up to its commitments for another 120 days, but he cautioned it would be "for the last time".

"We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the United States to leave the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has already been made or is close to being made", Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax news agency.

Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

Reluctant Donald Trump grants sanctions relief to Iran one last time