Tehran says will retaliate against Washington sanctions on chief judge


Although he will uphold the agreement by waiving sanctions targeting Iran's access to the worldwide financial system, Trump is also expected to reinstate sanctions targeting Iranian firms and individuals that were scrapped as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, AP, citing six people briefed on the matter.

While approving the waiver on USA sanctions related to the nuclear deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Following Trump's statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Friday that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was not "renegotiable".

In reply, Zarif took to Twitter on Friday to condemn Trump's reluctant announcement on the nuclear sanctions waiver, saying, "Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29".

Trump has previously described the nuclear agreement as "the worst deal ever negotiated", even though Iran has been repeatedly found to be in full compliance. "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately".

Trump and his top advisers have been negotiating with U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill to try to change sanctions legislation so that he does not face a deadline on whether to recertify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal every 90 days.

Trump had threatened in October to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal unless its defects were corrected, either through negotiations with other signatories of the pact or unilaterally by the US Congress. The next sanctions waivers are due in May. It said the sanctions are against worldwide law and go against USA commitments, saying they would bring a "strong reaction" from Iran. These penalties largely cut Iran out of the global financial system, until they were suspended by Obama under the nuclear deal.

In his statement Friday, Trump said he remained open to revising the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, or INARA.

While there may be some relief that Trump has yet to torpedo the hard-won accord, there were clear signs of frustration from European capitals in the runup to the decision. He said Iran's restraint on long-range ballistic missile programs also must be linked to sanctions relief.

He said he would only sign it if an Iranian refusal to allow United Nations inspectors to visit sites triggered an automatic re-imposition of US sanctions.