Trump to Extend Iran Sanctions Relief, Keeping Nuclear Deal Intact


European diplomats and United States analysts predicted that Trump would continue to waive the sanctions that were suspended as part of the deal, while imposing new sanctions on other grounds, like human rights or missile development.

Macron stressed to US President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Thursday the importance of abiding by the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ahead of a decision by the US president that could re-impose sanctions on the country.

Earlier, European powers urged Mr Trump to uphold that agreement, saying it was vital for worldwide security.

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Scrapping the deal now would remove important existing constraints on Iran's nuclear program, and would leave the United States in a far weaker position to negotiate meaningful future limits on the program, said the USA think tank report. "Any move that undermines [it] is unacceptable", he added, stressing: "Iran's continued compliance conditioned on full compliance by the United States".

Trump must decide by mid-January whether to continue waiving U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports under the terms of the pact.

Republicans in the Senate have drafted legislation that would amend the deal by eliminating its "sunset provisions", under which Iran is allowed to resume activities like enriching uranium.

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In October, Trump refused to continue to certify the JCPOA, on the grounds it was too favourable to Iran, and called on Congress and European allies to "fix it", making it tougher. 'The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. Congress requires the president to renew the waiver every 90 days. The Treasury Department recently announced new sanctions on Tehran's ballistic-missile program-even though no missiles have been launched recently and no tests have been conducted.

Another proposal would require snapback if Iran refuses a request from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's atomic watchdog, to inspect a military site not now being monitored. So Tillerson and others are hoping to convince the president there's enough momentum to warrant another extension of sanctions relief and not jeopardizing the entire agreement.

Agence France Presse reported on Monday that Iranian officials had warned the global community to be prepared for American withdrawal, adding that the Islamic Republic was already prepared for "any scenario". Therefore, Iran's response to Trump's next move will in essence have less to do with his reaction and more to do with what Europe may do next.

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"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check", Mogherini noted. Trump's words also make it easy for the Iranian regime to dismiss their protests as American-inspired. Iran hawks worry the IAEA, fearing a confrontation with Iran, won't even ask for such an inspection. Vice President Mike Pence, made a similar assertion in a recent op-ed, arguing that "the last administration's refusal to act ultimately emboldened Iran's tyrannical rulers to crack down on dissent". "It is under continuous review, and our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time", Trump said then. "It's been four months and Congress has yet to deal with the issue".