US Sanctions More Iranians, but Nuclear Deal Stands for Now

US Sanctions More Iranians, but Nuclear Deal Stands for Now

By ratifying the plan, Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Officials also said that the United States would slap new sanctions on Tehran, penalizing the Islamic Republic for developing ballistic missiles and for contributing to regional tensions.

On top of that, the USA imposed a whole new round of sanctions on Iran Tuesday morning, nominally because Iran still has a conventional ballistic missile program.

Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Trump intend to emphasize that Iran "remains one of the most unsafe threats" in the region, a senior official said.

Zarif said he has not as yet spoken with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is reviewing USA policy toward Iran, but he is open to doing so.

Chief Political Correspondent David Brody says Trump wants out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, but the timing isn't right.

Trump said during the 2016 presidential campaign he wanted to "rip up" the Iran nuclear deal.

The danger here is that Trump's instincts are to trash the deal and to deny that Iran is in compliance despite the fact that Tehran has been complying with the agreement from the start.

The State Department is required to update Congress every 90 days on Iran's adherence to the deal.

At the same time, the USA retains sanctions against Iran on the missile program, human rights and on suspicion that Tehran sponsors terrorism.

This is the second time the Trump administration has acknowledged Iran's compliance, and the president reportedly told his aides he does not intend to renew the certification indefinitely, according to the New York Times.

"We judge that these Iranian activities severely undermine the intent" of the agreement as a force for worldwide stability, one official said.

"We need to ensure more aggressively they are in compliance with the letter of the [agreement]", an official said. Although the language was toughened to add the declaration that Iran is "in default of the spirit" of the deal, Iran will continue receiving the same sanctions relief that it did under former President Barack Obama. Six months into Trump's presidency, it's looking more like number 10 or 20.

The Donald Trump administration may not dump the Iran deal as the President had promised as a candidate but, in a move India will be tracking closely, it will enforce it more strictly and hold Teheran accountable for its "malign behaviour". Iran remains on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.

The Pentagon has also repeatedly voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran involving Iranian vessels.

The recertification itself came with a side-statement insisting that Trump is very unhappy with the deal, and believes Iran is violating "the spirit" of the deal he doesn't like in the first place in non-specific ways.

The nuclear deal was agreed in Vienna in July 2015 after long-lasting negotiations initiated by five major world powers, including China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and Britain.

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