Trump issues warning, but continues to honor Iran deal

Trump issues warning, but continues to honor Iran deal

"We are cutting off the regime's money flows to terrorists", the president said in the statement.

The foreign ministry vowed to retaliate, but did not say what form any action might take.

Republicans in the Senate have drafted legislation that would amend the deal by eliminating its "sunset provisions", under which Iran is allowed to resume activities like enriching uranium.

"I am expecting new sanctions on Iran", Mnuchin told reporters.

But he says this waiver will be the last and is meant to secure an agreement from European allies to fix what he says are flaws in the pact.

Trump has argued behind the scenes that the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior USA official said.

But the European parties to the deal and China and Russian Federation, the two other parties, have made it clear that they will not reopen negotiations into the deal, which they say is working as it is; and Trump's demands could thus only be addressed by domestic U.S. law, with no jurisdiction over Iran or the IAEA, and with no direct effect on the JCPOA. It is also wants to address Iran's ballistic missile programme.

What are the new sanctions?

The Europeans have said they are willing to consider enhancing sanctions outside the nuclear deal, for instance targeting Iran's missile program and human rights abuses. Rajaee Shahr Prison and its director, Gholamreza Ziaei, also were included on the sanctions list.

Iran has complained that U.S. sanctions not connected to nuclear activity have effectively cancelled out any financial benefits it expected from the 2015 deal.

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The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday criticised the fresh sanctions imposed by the U.S. by calling them illegal and hostile, and warned that they would receive a serious reaction by the Islamic republic.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to Trump's statement on Twitter, saying that it "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement".

What is the nuclear deal? "Staying in this deal, which is a strong one, is vital to enhancing America's, and the world's, security, and avoiding a nuclear arms race in the Middle East".

In return, decades of global and USA nuclear-related sanctions were suspended.

The U.S. president must sign a waiver suspending the U.S. sanctions on Iran every 120 days.

In October, Trump said that he would not certify the deal, a dramatic but largely ceremonial gesture that he is expected to repeat this week. Friday was the deadline to do so.

Trump yesterday gave an ultimatum to "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

The president wants US Congress to modify a law that reviews US participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

He was prepared to back a modification to the existing deal if it were made permanent, one official said. But his senior aides again persuaded him not to dissolve it, as did European allies, who said Iran was still abiding by the terms of the deal and that breaching it would play into the hands of hardliners in the country.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly preview the decision.

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