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Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, sets 120-day clock for talks


Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday US President Donald Trump's latest attacks on the nuclear deal were a "desperate effort" to undermine an accord that cannot be renegotiated.

But the administration said these negotiations with Europe will not include Iran, which seems to run counter to U.N. and European insistence that any changes made in the deal include all parties. The new measures concern human rights abuses and censorship in Iran and the arming of groups throughout the region. "In absence of such an agreement (between the US and European powers), the US will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a lenghty statement.

The officials notably did not say that Trump expected the other two nations party to the deal - Russia and China - to join in the revision of the deal.

"We are also targeting Iran's ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities, which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people", Mnuchin said in a statement.

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"The vast majority of nonproliferation and security experts agree that the successful implementation of the JCPOA has effectively neutralized the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program", said Thomas Countryman, the chairman of the board of directors of the Arms Control Association and the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation. The Islamic Republic is reviled in the Beltway as a brutal, dangerous, theocratic government that has anti-Americanism is in its DNA.

The Trump administration also announced new sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities over what his administration sees as serious human rights abuses and support of weapons development. But Shadi Hamid disputed this in an article in The Atlantic by noting that Middle Eastern adversaries of the US will blame domestic unrest on the West no matter what American leaders do.

He told the international community, in particular his European allies, either to fix the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or he would withdraw the US from the nuclear deal.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.

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His reluctance to preserve the agreement deepened in recent weeks after the protests, in which at least 21 people have died and thousands have been jailed.

Trump's action, which the White House will announce Friday, is the third time he has given a reprieve to the agreement brokered by President Barack Obama, despite having labeled it "the worst deal ever" and threatening repeatedly to rip it up.

These sorts of observations have led many commentators to draw conclusions similar to that of the Global Voices article, regarding the need for the regime to compromise with protesters or else risk overthrow. If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran.

Trump laid out conditions to keep Washington in the deal. The last time the agreement came up for review, in October, aides had to talk him out of abandoning it completely.

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However, reimposing sanctions eased under the 2015 deal could prove harmful to the very citizens for whom Mr Trump had expressed support. The enormous financial windfall the Iranian regime received because of the deal-access to more than $100 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash-has not been used to better the lives of the Iranian people.

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