Germany to keep seeking full implementation of Iran deal - spokeswoman

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Iran said yesterday it would retaliate against sanctions imposed on its judiciary head by the United States, as US President Donald Trump stepped up efforts to "fix" a nuclear deal between Teheran and major powers.

"The Iranian foreign ministry in a statement said that Iran will not accept any amendments in this agreement now or in the future".

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif said, "Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement..."

In return, decades of worldwide and U.S. nuclear-related sanctions were suspended, and the U.S. president must sign a waiver suspending them every 120 days.But Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the deal - reached under his predecessor Barack Obama - as "the worst ever".

The decision to waive the sanctions was to be announced in a statement issued by the White House a day after Trump engaged in lengthy discussions with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others about the deal.

He was prepared to back a modification to the existing deal if it were made permanent, one official said. Iran insists its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes.

The Trump administration's sanctions also are intended at hindering Iran's ballistic missile program and other alleged "illicit activities".

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.

The European countries which signed on, including the U.K., France, and Germany urged the USA to stay in on Thursday, claiming that Iran has been holding up its side of the bargain since the deal was signed.

In a background briefing, senior administration officials said this is Trump's "waiver" on Iran.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal that limits Iran's nuclear program.

Congress has so far shown little interest in using legislation to undercut or change the current Iran nuclear deal.

"The nuclear deal is an internationally recognized and concluded pact and is not renegotiable", the Foreign Ministry in Tehran said in a statement Saturday.

"While Britain may move to support the US on this, Germany and France are likely to be strongly opposed", he said.

By imposing a deadline in May for the U.S. Congress and European powers to strengthen the nuclear accord, Trump's declaration puts considerable pressure on Britain, France and Germany - the European signatories to the nuclear pact with Iran. They did not immediately react to Trump's demand on January 12 that they help come up with a stronger agreement.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) notes that Iran's Central Bank was not included on the list of sanctions; had the bank been sanctioned it would have been a major blow to the Iranian regime.

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