Waiving sanctions on Iran for what he says is the final time, President Donald Trump has warned that unless 'terrible flaws' in the 2015 nuclear deal are fixed, the United States will withdraw from it. The ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans - key backers and parties to the international pact to curb Iran's nuclear programme - to satisfy Trump, who wants it strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.
The decision to waive sanctions did not come easy, and required the urging of the president's top diplomatic and security advisers, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and the US's top allies, including European diplomats who flew into Washington to reiterate their view that suspending sanctions was uncalled for because Iran was complying with the deal.
"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said in a statement that outlined several tough new rules on Iran.
"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", Zarif tweeted shortly after Trump's statement.
Under the deal, Iran allows strict limits on its nuclear program in return for easing of economic sanctions. Iran continues to comply with its obligations under the agreement. "Our biggest priority is to maintain the JCPOA, but of course not at any price", he added.
KA: We will be back to square one of the Iranian nuclear crisis with the Iranians explicitly warning that they will resume their full scale nuclear activities, including enrichment activities. The statement said they stood in solidarity with the "protesters demanding freedom and the removal of the shackles of the theocratic regime and Revolutionary Guard".
Trump's decision avoided placing the United States in violation of the commitments it made in the landmark 2015 deal.
Dennis Ross and Richard Goldberg - a former Obama adviser and a former Senate Republican staffer, who both helped to develop those original sanctions - argue that in moments like this, it's possible to walk and chew gum. The US is cutting off the Iranian regime's money flows to terrorists, he said.
Separately, the Treasury Department said it imposed sanctions on 14 individuals and entities from Iran, China and Malaysia over Tehran's human rights abuses and ballistic missile development. Probably he doesn't care, because a more plausible interpretation is that this formulation is merely a sham on the road to hoped-for destruction of the JCPOA. If Iran is forced to focus on the domestic uprising, its assistance to the Syrian regime may weaken. His older brother, Ali Larijani, is the speaker of Iran's parliament.
This means rethinking the kinds of sanctions to impose on Iran.
Mayor de Blasio feels "confident" the city will be able to prove that five leading oil companies are responsible for Hurricane Sandy by causing climate change and will win damages in the tens of billions, says Seth Barron at City Journal. Would it fall through? The fact that the agreement is working prevents him from making any case for withdrawing from the agreement directly and explicitly.