'Trump new sanctions blatant violation of JCPOA'

Hassan Rouhani

Trump said he would waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the worldwide deal for the last time unless his conditions were met.

"So Trump now has issued explicit May deadline to Congress and Europeans: Fix Iran nuke deal or no more sanctions waivers", wrote Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

These penalties largely cut Iran out of the worldwide financial system, until they were suspended by Mr Obama under the nuclear deal. "Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, accused Trump of "desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", tweeting on Friday: "JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, U.S. must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran".

Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the deal - reached under his predecessor Barack Obama - as "the worst ever".

He further claimed, "This is a last chance".

Iran has warned Washington the nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers "is not renegotiable".

"If at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", he added.

Britain and Germany said Friday they had taken note of Trump's latest decision and would confer with France before responding.

Underscoring the difficulty now facing Europeans, a European diplomat, speaking under condition of anonymity, said: "It's going to be complicated to save the deal after this". Trump is also urging Congress to reform United States 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. "We have been under United States sanctions for the last 40 years", said Farshad Alyan, a 26-year-old law student.

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"However, if the "adults in the room" prevailed this time and kept Trump from exiting the deal, there remains hope they will prevail in the end", he added. "We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran's judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned exclusively for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government".

On Thursday, the European Union and member states urged Trump not to withdraw form the agreement, with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini saying the deal is "working" and "making the world safer".

After that, the Trump administration intends to work with European partners on a type of "follow-on" agreement that includes "certain triggers" Iran must follow, including nuclear inspections and restrictions on Iran's nuclear program that have no sunset.

Iran argues that continued United States sanctions on non-nuclear areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred it from gaining numerous financial benefits expected from the deal. Trump is also waiving other US penalties covered by the agreement, including on Iran's oil and gas sectors, which were up for renewal next week.

Trump said this would be the last time he issues a waiver to maintain the accord, and he bluntly put the onus on European nations to agree to changes. At the same time, Trump also levied new sanctions against Iran and said this is the last such waiver he'll sign unless "significant flaws" in the current deal are addressed. The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions.

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

The other signatories to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - and the European Union, which oversaw the talks, were watching carefully.

"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.

Two EU diplomats said EU foreign ministers will discuss what to do now at their next regular meeting, scheduled for January 22 in Brussels.


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