US Extends Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions Over Missile Activity

17 September, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • US Extends Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions Over Missile Activity

The White House did not issue a statement announcing the extension of the sanctions waivers and left it to the State Department to make the move public.

Iran has grown more assertive in the Middle East in recent years, establishing itself as a dominant player in Iraq as the US presence fades, and aligning itself with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as part of a larger proxy war with Saudi Arabia, the repressive theocracy that Trump favors.

The remarks made by the Iranian officials followed Trump blaming Iran for not fulfilling the deal's "spirit".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the administration approved waivers of some sanctions to "maintain some flexibility" as it develops a policy to address the range of Iranian behavior.

Trump is due to decide before October 15 whether Iran has breached the 2015 nuclear agreement, and critics fear he may abandon an accord they think prevents Tehran from building a nuclear bomb.

What's to say the threat of bringing back those sanctions won't persuade America's European allies to try to fix the nuclear deal's flaws? And it can point to a United Nations report this week showing that Iran was meeting the conditions on its nuclear program set out in the accord.

The other signatories of the Iran nuclear pact are Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

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The postmodern European states, with their highly sophisticated system of governance and codified self-enforced rules of behavior, would likely look at the U.S as a freaky state whose leaders genuinely believe that their domestic law easily preempts global law, and are not shy to present this position as a legitimate justification to exit or torpedo worldwide agreements.

"This is an action the United States is taking in the interim while the president and his Cabinet come to a final decision. about what US policy pertaining to the [plan of action] will be", said another official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Trump is expected to recertify Iran's compliance to the deal before October 15 as required by the US law.

Colin Kahl, who served as Vice President Joe Biden's national security adviser in Obama's second term, told me in an e-mail this week that it was worthwhile to begin looking at the flaws of the agreement, but he opposed any strategy in which Trump would decertify Iran's compliance.

On Thursday and in previous comments, Trump has said he is inclined not to certify Iranian compliance after having twice found it compliant at earlier deadlines. The official cited Iran's ballistic missile tests, support for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, backing of militias fighting in neighboring countries and human-rights abuses, including the detention of several US citizens.

Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles and has warned it won't allow inspections of military sites - highlighting ambiguities in the agreement. Those, however, aren't specifically covered in the nuclear agreement.

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