Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions ’for last time’
U.S. President Donald Trump upheld U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal on Friday by granting Tehran relief from U.S. sanctions but aides said it would be the last time he would do so.
According to Reuters, A senior administration official said Trump wants the 2015 Iran deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the international pact.
Trump had privately chafed at having to once again waive sanctions on a country he sees as a rising threat in the Middle East. The agreement was reached during Barack Obama’s presidency.
While Trump approved a sanctions waiver, the Treasury Department decided to impose new, targeted sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and individuals.
The decision was to be announced in a statement issued by the White House a day after Trump engaged in lengthy discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others about the deal.
Trump has argued behind the scenes that the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior U.S. official said. The argument for staying in, the official said, was to allow time to toughen the terms of the agreements.
Two senior Trump administration officials told Reuters on Wednesday that the president, a Republican, had privately expressed reluctance to heed the advice of top advisers recommending he not reimpose the suspended sanctions.
Trump had come under heavy pressure from European allies to issue the sanctions waiver.
Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. It has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.