Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump issues ultimatum to fix Iran nuclear deal

Trump issues ultimatum to fix Iran nuclear deal

Iran has said that it will retaliate against the sanctions imposed by the United States on the head of its judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani.

As for the 2015 deal, Trump has said: "We got weak inspections in exchange for no more than a purely short-term, temporary delay for Iran on its path toward nuclear weapons".

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said in a statement Friday.

The Trump administration also slapped new sanctions on Iran, reportedly for human-rights abuses by the Iranian regime during the civil protests of the last few weeks, and for weapons proliferation across the Middle East.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif added that the demands were a "desperate attempt" to undermine the deal.

In October of a year ago, Trump refused to recertify that Iran was in compliance with the agreement, saying the it was "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into".

Trump's latest move casts doubt on the future of the deal, a successful practice of solving a hotspot issue through political and diplomatic means.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that "unity is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, that is preventing a nuclear arms race in the region".

The new round of USA sanctions could possibly include a ban on the purchase of Russian treasury bonds. The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions.

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Speaking to reporters earlier Friday, a senior US administration official said Trump will seek "a follow-on or a supplemental agreement" with European partners to strengthen the deal he has vowed to scrap.

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

Mr Trump was a fierce critic during the 2016 election campaign, calling it the "worse deal ever" and promising to scrap it if he became president.

While the USA and other world powers rolled back economic restrictions on Tehran, the Iranians severely curtailed their enrichment of uranium and other nuclear activity.

On Friday, Trump agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the worldwide deal but said it would be the last time unless conditions were met to fix what he called "significant flaws" in the deal.

That decision came despite the United Nations having certified Iran's compliance with the deal eight times. He accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement even though the International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran is complying.

Despite the lopsided cohort in favor the deal, the president has continued to recoil at the prospect of extending sanctions to Iran given his personal animus toward the deal and campaign promise to rip up the worldwide accord during his first term in office.

In August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions drafted by U.S. lawmakers. It is also wants to address Iran's ballistic missile programme.

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