Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

New US sanctions attempt to influence Russian Federation before election

New US sanctions attempt to influence Russian Federation before election

US President Donald Trump said he is extending sanctions relief for Iran one last time so Europe and the US can fix the nuclear deal's "terrible flaws, reported BBC".

The United States imposed sanctions on a high-ranking Iranian official for the first time since reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, Armen Israyelyan, an Armenian expert on Iran, said in a Facebook post.

"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".

To fix what he described "disastrous flaws" in the deal, Trump demanded that Iran be denied "all paths to a nuclear weapon not just for 10 years, but forever", and that Tehran allow "immediate inspections at all sites requested by worldwide inspectors".

"It would be an agreement amongst the United States and our European partners to reimpose multilateral sanctions should the Iranians surpass the new triggers that we would lay out", he said.

Trump on Friday gave an ultimatum to "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

Most prominent among the 14 individuals and entities named in the new sanctions was Sadegh Amoli Larijani, who heads Iran's judiciary and who is brother to the speaker of the Iranian parliament.

But the European Union's foreign policy chief who oversees this deal has made it clear all along that it is not open for renegotiation.

Other sanctions target companies accused of conducting prohibited transactions with Iranian entities. They've been lobbying hard to keep the Trump administration in, arguing that the deal is working.

Trump said he wanted Congress to pass a bill requiring "timely, sufficient, and immediate inspections" at all sites by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the indefinite extension of limits on Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities.

KELEMEN: No. You know, there are all sorts of other sanctions on Iran.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran and the other worldwide signatories.

United States officials say the president will work with European partners to try to broker an agreement limiting Iran's ballistic missiles activities.

This would involve negotiations between the USA and its European allies rather than talks with Iran, the official said.

In particular, it will not begin to expire after 10 years as parts of the existing deal do, but instead would impose permanent restrictions on not just Iran's nuclear plants but also its missile programme.

But the president also promised to scrap the landmark agreement in 120 days if Congress and European allies don't meet his new demands for strengthening the deal - throwing down the gauntlet on a signature achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, restricted Iran's controversial nuclear program in exchange for broad relief from worldwide sanctions.

"If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran", warned Trump.

"Certification is a purely US domestic decision".

"The designations today politically go to the top of the regime and send a very strong message that the United States is not going to tolerate their continued abuses, continued violations of the rights of their citizens", an administration official said. If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume.

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