Trump to issue final Iran deal waiver, officials say

Hassan Rouhani

President Donald Trump gave the Iran nuclear deal a final reprieve on Friday but warned European allies and Congress they had to work with him to fix "the disastrous flaws" in the pact or face a US exit. Officials, congressional aides and outside administration advisers said had the president would likely extend the sanctions waivers, citing progress in amending US legislation that governs Washington's participation in the deal.

Nephew, a former White House and State Department Iran sanctions expert, said legislation could be drafted that might appear to assuage Trump's concerns, but that getting Iran to agree to allow unfettered global inspections or to no time limits on the nuclear deal's restrictions was impossible.

The Islamic Republic's foreign ministry said in a statement that it would not "move beyond its commitments" to the existing agreement, to which Trump has extended the USA commitment for another 120 days, Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Saturday. "We have been under USA sanctions for the last 40 years", said Farshad Alyan, a 26-year-old law student. Congress didn't touch the issue.

The ministry has once again reiterated the country's position on the issue, opposing the USA move concerning the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump laid out several conditions to keep the United States in the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized President Trump, saying the nuclear deal is not renegotiable.

Iran has said it is not interested in any renegotiation.

The US president is required to renew the existing deal every 120 days under American law. Trump is also urging Congress to reform U.S. law so the president is no longer required to declare every 90 days whether he thinks Iran is in compliance, or to renew sanctions waivers every 120 or 180 days. The Treasury Department's action hits 14 Iranian officials and companies and businessmen from Iran, China and Malaysia, freezing any assets they have in the US and banning Americans from doing business with them.

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The ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans, key backers of the 2015 nuclear deal, to satisfy Trump, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.

"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a statement.

Iran argues that continued USA sanctions on other, non-nuclear, areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred Iran from gaining numerous financial benefits expected from the deal. "No one should doubt my word".

President Donald Trump earlier said the USA would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal later this year unless the terms of the deal are changed.

"We have also heeded that the worldwide community universally support the JCPOA and fully recognize the efforts made by Iran to implement it", he said.

The decision had been expected since earlier this week.

This would not entail negotiations with Iran, the official said, but rather would be the result of talks between the United States and its European allies.

"Those who, for whatever reason, choose not to work with us will be siding with the Iranian regime's nuclear ambitions, and against the people of Iran and the peaceful nations of the world", said Trump, who met national security advisers at the White House on Thursday before announcing the third such waiver since coming to power.

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