U.S. extends sanctions relief under Iran nuclear deal

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

The United States decided not to reimpose sanctions on Iran's nuclear program Wednesday despite President Donald Trump's criticism of the deal Tehran signed with the previous USA administration.

Those sanctions will target military officials, according to the Treasury Department, as well as a China-based network accused of supplying ballistic missile material to Iran. Simultaneously, the State Department released a congressionally mandated semi-annual report on human rights abuses.

On Wednesday, Iranian state media outlets said four passenger airplanes were being delivered as the first installment of a deal with French-Italian manufacturer ATR that was finalized after the nuclear agreement.

The Trump administration is conducting an interagency review of U.S. policy to Iran and whether the nuclear deal advances USA national security interests, Jones said.

During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to tear up the nuclear deal, which he called "the worst deal ever negotiated" but since he took office, his advisors have warned that this move would be more complicated than he thought, mainly because the deal also involves the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United Nations.

Should the victorious candidate decide to prioritize issues which provoke its agreement partners or declare that the economic benefits of the JCPOA do not merit its continuation in the current format, there is a heightened risk that President Donald Trump will retreat from his side of the deal.

The United States "continues to waive sanctions as required" to continue implementing the nuclear deal, the US State Department announced on Wednesday.

Every 90 days, the US president must certify for Congress that Iran is fully compliant with the JCPOA to ensure that the economic sanctions can continue to be waivered.

Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former USA assistant secretary of defence, said the Trump administration's continuation of the nuclear deal is similar to the situation with China.

North Korea possesses nuclear weapons, and many western countries as well as security experts suspect that Iran harbours designs to acquire atomic arms for itself, in addition to its suspected arsenal of chemical weapons that were produced during the 1980s. On April 18, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran has complied to date with its requirements under the deal, while calling the deal a failure a day later.

I can understand why the Trump administration might want to maintain the nuclear deal until it gets all its ducks in a row on Iran.

Missile testing and Iran's involvement in terrorism and regional violence were not covered by the nuclear deal, and the Obama administration kept in place sanctions targeting Iran for those activities.

The United States will continue to "waive sanctions as required to continue implementing US sanctions-lifting commitments" under the nuclear deal, the State Department said in a statement.

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