Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

European Union backs under-fire Iran N

European Union backs under-fire Iran N

"The president's decision is to waive once more the nuclear sanctions that the terms of the JCPOA require the United States to waive in order to remain in the deal", the White House official said.

Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters Trump would work with Europeans on a follow-on deal to enshrine triggers that the Iranian government could not exceed related to ballistic missiles.

President Donald Trump has delivered an ultimatum to America's European allies to fix the "terrible flaws" in the Iran nuclear deal, or he'll pull the US out in a few months' time.

The waivers were accompanied by other non-nuclear sanctions and a stern warning that Trump will pull out of the deal if the fixes aren't made. This fresh reprieve for the Iran agreement-which on the campaign trail Mr Trump called "the worst deal ever" and promised to tear up-highlights the dilemma faced by America's closest allies, notably in Europe.

He says the deadline stems from a requirement that the U.S. State Department renew the deal every 90 days.

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

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said. "He intends to work with our European partners on some kind of follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime can not exceed related to ballistic missiles, related to nuclear breakout inspection and that would have no sunset clause".

"These provisions must have no expiration date".

The Iranian foreign ministry has said it would not accept "any changes, now or in the future". The next deadline for extending nuclear sanctions relief will come in mid-May.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he expects Trump to impose additional new sanctions on Iran, but declined to make any specific comments about the president's decision on the waiver.

"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29", Zarif tweeted.

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

USA officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told the Associated Press that Mr. Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said: "We should support the Iranian people who are willing to risk their lives".

"It is incumbent on those who oppose the JCPOA to come up with that better solution, because we have not seen it so far".

Many of those sanctions - including one targeted at Larijani - were in response to the Iranian government's crackdown on peaceful protests that have swept the country in recent weeks.

"I don't think we should conflate the two", Goldstein said. "Busy four months ahead".

Iran also rejected any changes to its nuclear deal with world powers.

"I'm all in favor of trying to address the agreement's weaknesses", Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully. "It is also clearly important to build worldwide support for this deal, that Iran should be able to show that it is a good neighbor in the region."Germany Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the deal showed that diplomatic approaches to preventing the development of nuclear weapons were possible". Tehran categorically denies it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday condemning the new USA sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and entities, threatening to retaliate.

The European Union said in a statement it had taken note of Trump's decision and would assess its implications.

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