Trump Iran decision due as allies plea for nuclear deal

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

US President Donald Trump says he will waive economic sanctions against Iran.

The White House announced today that President Trump will waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. On top of that, President Trump wants to make clear that Iran's missiles, even conventional missiles are "inseparable" from the nuclear deal.

"We agree on this approach, we want to protect [the deal] against every possible decision that might undermine it", Germany's Sigmar Gabriel said alongside his French and British counterparts and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after meeting Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Germany has said it will continue to call for the deal's full implementation and would consult on a "common way forward" with the United Kingdom and France. Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw", read a statement.

Despite signing off on the waivers, Trump's Treasury Department targeted several Iranian officials with sanctions over human rights abuses and ballistic missile development.

US presidents, under existing American law, must waive the sanctions every few months to prevent them from causing Iran to declare the nuclear pact violated and simply walk away to resume pursuit of an atomic arsenal.

The Congress did not come up with any resolution, thus passing the ball back to Trump, who should decide on Friday if he would like to waive energy sanctions on Iran.

Iran, despite repeatedly claiming its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes, has vowed to "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.

But the White House warned this would be the last time the sanctions would be waivered, as it lambasted the Iranian regime for "stifling basic freedoms and denying its citizens the opportunity to build better lives for their families". But he said he would work with European allies to remove so-called "sunset clauses" that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade.

Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the United States lifted as part of the deal.

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

The president wants US Congress to modify a law that reviews US participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said. Other sanctions target suppliers of Iran's military and Iran's cybersecurity sector, which the administration officials said plays a central role in censorship in Iran. But he is not proposing "direct talks" with the Iranian government, the official said.