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

Iran resists United States pressure to renegotiate nuclear deal despite Trump's "last waiver"

Iran resists United States pressure to renegotiate nuclear deal despite Trump's

Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's judiciary and others.

President Trump announced Friday he would waive the sanctions against Iran for the "last time," giving the USA and its European partners a 120-day deadline to strengthen the deal that prohibits Iran from developing a nuclear program in exchange for entrance into worldwide commerce and banking.

US officials said the new sanctions were for human-rights abuses by the Iranian regime during its response to civil protests, and for weapons proliferation.

The Trump administration is reportedly waiving sanctions on Iran's nuclear sanctions as part of the Iran deal but is announcing new sanctions on specific individuals and entities in Iran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier said on Twitter that Trump's decision undermined the multilateral agreement.

In a statement later Friday Trump said those who do not work with him to amend the deal are effectively siding with Iran. They said Trump's waiver announcement will also include harsh criticism of Iran's response to recent protests against the Islamic Republic's leadership.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) didn't like the idea of waiving Iran's nuclear sanctions.

"As the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] has not come by easily, all relevant parties should cherish it", Chinese Foreign Minister Lu Kan said on Saturday.

President Trump said he was giving Europe and the United States "a last chance" to fix "terrible flaws" in the nuclear agreement signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker has been working on amending a USA law to include "trigger points" that if crossed by Iran would automatically bring back US sanctions.

The nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers - the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

Iran says the missiles it has tested are not created to carry nuclear warheads and insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

"Trump's remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it", a statement from Netanyahu's office read.

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

"JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, United States must bring itself into full compliance - just like Iran", Zarif tweeted immediately after Trump's speech.

Trump said four "critical components" must now be worked into the agreement: immediate inspections at all sites requested by worldwide inspectors, measures to ensure Iran "never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon", no policy "expiration date", and no distinction between the Islamic Republic's long-range missile and nuclear weapons programmes regarding the imposition of sanctions.

Russia, which is also a signatory to the JCPOA, said on Saturday the USA would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of Iran's nuclear deal and underlined Moscow's determination to keep the landmark accord intact.

"As a first step, we will coordinate with the E3 and the other EU Member States to jointly assess the statement and its implications." said Catherine Ray, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The White House is working with the congress on a US legislation, which seeks provisions to permanently prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and subject Iran's long-range missile program to severe sanctions.

The president charged that Iran has gotten "far too much in exchange for far too little", and threatened not to renew the waivers when the next approval period comes.

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