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1ST LEAD Trump waives sanctions, offers 'last chance' for Iran nuclear deal By Gretel Johnston, dpa

Europe
12.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - The United States will continue to waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in accordance with the 2015 nuclear deal, President Donald Trump said Friday, even as he threatened to withdraw from the deal if it isn‘t changed.

The sanctions waiver decision, the third by Trump, means the pact reached between Iran, the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany is spared from being scrapped - for now.

Trump said it would be the last such waiver he will issue unless significant changes are made in negotiations with European partners.

US Treasury Department simultaneously announced on Friday new sanctions against 14 individuals and entities in connection with human rights abuses, censorship and support to "designated Iranian weapons proliferators."

The new sanctions target the country‘s ballistic missile programme and are unrelated to its nuclear programme.

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

"This is a last chance," he said

If no such agreement is reached, the US will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the deal, Trump said.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed under the previous administration of president Barack Obama.

As part of the deal, Iran agreed to dramatically reduce its nuclear programme for at least a decade in exchange for a lifting of sanctions and normalized relations with the West.

Under a law passed by Congress, the president is required to report on the deal every 90 days.

The US already has discussed a "follow-on or supplemental agreement" agreement with its European allies, a senior White House official told reporters.

"This would not entail direct negotiations with the Iranians," the official said. "It would be something the United States would work out with our European partners."

Trump also is pressing Congress to pass new legislation regarding Iran that includes four critical components, including a demand that it allow inspections by international inspectors and assurance that Iran never comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon.

The separate action by the Treasury Department specifically targets Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran‘s judiciary, whom the US charged with overseeing the executions of those who were juveniles at the time of their crime, as well as cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, including amputations.

"We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran‘s judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

A recent wave of protests across Iran left 18 demonstrators dead and thousands under arrest.

The sanctions also designate Rajaee Shahr prison and Iranian national Gholamreza Ziaei in connection with human rights abuses. The Treasury Department alleges that many Iranians who recently protested against their government are imprisoned there and are subject to abuse.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps‘ electronic warfare and cyber defence organization, Malaysia-based Green Wave Telecommunication and a Chinese national who allegedly provided support to Iran‘s Shiraz Electronics Industries also are listed among the newly sanctioned entities.

Mnuchin said the sanctions target Iran‘s ballistic missile programme and destabilizing activities, "which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people."

The new sanctions come on top of earlier designations announced in May, October and last week that included top Iranian defence officials and a China-based network supplying material to Iran‘s missile programme.

 

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