Monday, 23 April, 2018

Reluctant Trump agrees to Iran nuclear deal a final time

Trump Lets The Iran Deal Live — For Another Few Months At Least Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now
Kenny Thornton | 14 January, 2018, 12:00

Iran has said it will not accept any changes to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, after US President Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement unless its "terrible flaws" are fixed. "It also will not allow the [deal] to be linked to any other issue", a foreign ministry statement from Tehran said.

He also wanted to extend legislation to make explicit that testing of long-range missiles was "inseparable" from the nuclear weapons programme, so Iran's ballistics testing should also "be subject to severe sanctions".

Hailed by Obama as key to stopping Iran from building a nuclear bomb, the deal lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.

United States officials said on Friday they want to see an agreement that reimposes sanctions on Iran if it doesn't adhere to new inspections standards or begins advancing its nuclear program after certain restrictions in the original nuclear deal expire.

"This is a last chance", Trump said, pushing for a separate agreement and saying the United States would not waive sanctions again to keep Iran in the pact without such an agreement.

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned 14 companies and individuals in Iran and China - in connection with alleged human rights violations and weapons proliferation. They said the deal was vital for worldwide security and the British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said a better deal would be hard to come by.

Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Texas Tech raids No. 2 Mountaineers
MINNEAPOLIS - Vincent Edwards scored 25 points in 29 minutes on 9-for-14 shooting for Purdue in its 13th consecutive victory. Joel Berry II hit two free throws with 7.1 seconds left as North Carolina earned its first ACC road victory of the season.

In a background briefing, senior administration officials said this is Trump's "waiver" on Iran.

Trump has argued that Obama, a Democrat, negotiated a bad deal for the United States in agreeing to the nuclear accord.

The European countries which signed on, including the U.K., France, and Germany urged the USA to stay in on Thursday, claiming that Iran has been holding up its side of the bargain since the deal was signed.

Meanwhile an Iranian politician said Iran "will not mourn" if the United States pulls out of the nuclear deal. "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", he said. The administration accuses Larijani of being responsible for the violent crackdown on dissidents in Iran during recent protests.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who hosted Thursday's meeting, said that "unity is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, that is preventing a nuclear arms race in the region".

He is demanding Iran allow immediate inspections at nuclear sites on request, and that so-called "sunset clauses", which see the restrictions on nuclear development relax after ten years, be removed.

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