Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, sets 120-day clock for talks


The sanctions, when they are in place, target third parties overseas that deal with Iran and have the effect - because of the reach of the USA dollar - of severely inhibiting trade with Iran. The administration emphasized that Trump also wants to see USA legislation stating that the ballistic missile program is an inseparable part of its nuclear program, and should be treated as the same in terms of American 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.

Despite the Iran nuclear deal, the USA has kept on slapping separate sanctions on Iran, accusing the country of having a ballistic missiles program as well as human rights abuses.

Instead I have outlined two possible paths forward: "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws or the United States will withdraw", the president said in a statement.

After meeting his Iranian, French, German and European Union counterparts in Brussels, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted the deal was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

But he coupled that announcement with new sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities - among them Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, head of Iran's judiciary.

"This is the last such waiver [the President] will issue", said a senior administration official briefing reporters, threatening that the administration could still pull out of the deal.

The landmark 2015 deal curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for the relaxing of punishing sanctions

While Trump has repeatedly railed that the deal was "one of the worst" that the US had signed, the European Union's foreign policy chief has publicly disagreed in the past. It prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons while offering sanctions relief to allow the Islamic Republic to participate in global commerce and banking.

Well, I think there has been an interesting change in the conditions on the ground in Iran.

Trump said he had reluctantly agreed to extend the waivers only in order to secure the support of America's European allies to fix the agreement. A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal that limits Iran's nuclear programme. French President Emmanuel Macron stressed to Trump in a telephone call on Thursday the importance of abiding by the deal.

Aides said the President will waive sanctions for the final time, Reuters reported, pointing out that if the deal is not strengthened with a follow-up agreement in 120 days, the U.S. "You'll be finding that out very soon", he said when Trump was asked what is his current thinking on Iran.

Eliminating the "sunset clauses" that allow Iran to restart its uranium enrichment program after 2025 was also within Trump's concern, according to the officials. The administration accuses Larijani of being responsible for the violent crackdown on dissidents in Iran during recent protests.

But the Trump administration indicated on Friday that it was losing patience with Iran.