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Trump keeps Iran nuclear deal intact but adds unrelated sanctions on Tehran

Tracy Wilkinson, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump agreed Friday to extend sanctions waivers to keep the historic nuclear disarmament deal with Iran intact, but vowed to quickly withdraw from what he called "the disastrously flawed" accord unless it is significantly revised.

"No one should doubt my word," Trump said in a strongly worded, two-page statement.

Trump said he had only agreed to extend the waivers only in order to secure the support of America's European allies to fix the agreement. "This is a last chance," he warned, declaring he would not waive sanctions again to stay in the deal.

He called on Congress to pass a bill that would demand Iran allow unrestricted inspections at all sites, to "ensure that Iran never even comes close" to possessing a nuclear weapon, and to end so-called sunset provisions in the agreement that phase out over time.

"If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume," he said.

United Nations inspectors currently monitor Iran's former nuclear infrastructure, but critics of the accord have said they should gain unfettered access to Iran's military bases and other facilities, a demand Tehran has refused.

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The sunset provisions were written into the 2015 agreement and a U.S. law would not change it. And proponents of the accord argue that it already blocks Iran's ability to build or acquire a bomb, whatever Congress says.

The Trump administration also slapped unrelated economic sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities, including a notorious prison and members of the Islamic Republic's judiciary who have sentenced dissidents to death.

Senior administration officials said Trump intends to negotiate with European allies a menu of "triggers" that would re-impose multilateral sanctions if Iran is found in violation of the landmark nuclear accord, which was signed in 2015.

The administration wants those triggers to include Iran's ballistic missile program, which was not part of the nuclear deal, and wants to remove sunset clauses that allow some nuclear restrictions to ease or phase out over time.


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