US extends Iran nuke sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

Trump administration will let Iran nuclear deal live, US officials say

Trump administration will let Iran nuclear deal live, US officials say

"Raisi would likely support the provocative military and regional policies that are already imperiling the nuclear agreement and are leading to increasing calls in Washington to reinstate extra-territorial sanctions", warned Croft in a note on Monday.

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted Iran was complying with its own commitments under the deal - placing its nuclear sites under worldwide scrutiny and halting most enrichment. However since assuming the presidency, he has tempered his position, suggesting that he is studying the accord with an eye for its details, and that he is yet to reach a final position on its contents.

The US imposed sanctions against officials of Iran and one Iranian company in connection with a programme to develop ballistic missiles in the country.

Iran denies ever seeking nuclear weapons and foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on Thursday that its missile programme is part of its "absolute and legal right to build up the country's defensive capabilities".

Both individuals are key enablers of Iran's ballistic missile program, according to the Trump administration. At the same time, Trump dispatched Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to issue a scathing critique of Iran in which he also cast doubt that the nuclear deal would achieve its objective of keeping Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

The nuclear agreement eased crippling economic sanctions on Iran in return for imposing strict limits on its nuclear program. Iran is buying 20 of the ATR 72-600 planes.

The notification of waivers follows a finding in April that Iran is complying with its side of the deal.

Under the 2015 deal, the U.S. and other world powers eased economic sanctions after the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran took steps to pull its nuclear program back from the brink of weapons capability.

While Trump criticised the nuclear pact as a presidential candidate - at one point saying he would "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran" - Wednesday's actions demonstrated that he has decided, at least for now, to keep it.

Western policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran appears to be changing in many significant ways.

Wednesday's actions come just two days before the Iranian presidential election, which pits incumbent Hassan Rouhani, whose administration negotiated the JCPOA, against hardliners who oppose opening relations with the west. Sherman said Israel was heavily involved in orchestrating the deal, calling Israel a "true partner" and the only "true democracy" in the Middle East. Only last month the president certified to Congress that Iran is living up to the deal, but he also sent Secretary of State Tillerson to Tehran with sharp criticisms of its behavior and an assessment that it's unlikely the Obama deal will meet its goals. As for the deal itself, critics say that Iran may not be in material breach, but there have been some violations.

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