Trump administration keeps Iran deal alive, but with new sanctions


The United States has decided not to re-impose sanctions on Iran's Nuclear Programme.

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will extend sanctions relief for Iran given under the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic republic.

The US Treasury Department extended sanctions on Iran on Wednesday over concerns about its ballistic missile program.

"This administration is committed to countering Iran's destabilising behaviour, such as Iran's development of ballistic missiles and support to the Assad regime", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. At one point, Trump said that he would "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran".

Washington nevertheless maintained a stern tone, imposing new measures to punish Iranian defense officials and a Chinese business tied to Tehran's banned missile program.

"The related new missile sanctions are similar to the ones that the Obama Administration had imposed and that the Trump Administration imposed earlier this year and so do not represent a drastically different view on Iran between the two Administrations".

"The Trump administration also has targeted Chinese national OFAC designated Chinese national Ruan Runling and three associated Chinese companies for proliferation activities in support of a key designated Iranian defense entity", according to the Treasury Department.

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The State Department says it is telling Congress it will continue to waive sanctions on Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday denounced the new series of sanctions imposed by the US on its ballistic missile programme, calling them illegal and unacceptable.

The deal doesn't prohibit the USA or other countries from imposing new sanctions on Iran for its missile program, terrorism or other reasons, although Tehran has threatened to pull out of the deal if the US and other countries do so. The dual track sanctions policy shows that the major review of U.S. Iranian policy ordered by the president is not complete, and for the foreseeable future, Iran will continue to enjoy the economic benefits of sanctions relief.

"If they don't renew the waivers they will have a big mess on their hands", Timothy O'Toole, a sanctions attorney at a U.S. law firm told Financial Times.

May 17 The administration of President Donald Trump on Wednesday will extend sanctions relief on Iran that was called for under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, two US officials told Reuters. "And above all, the United States will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon", he added.

"Iran condemns America's unacceptable ill will in its effort to undermine the positive outcome of Tehran's commitment to implement the nuclear deal by adding individuals to its list of unilateral and illegal sanctions", state media quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.