Trump Gives The Iran Deal One Last Lifeline

German Chancellor Angela Merkel right and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak at a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin

Iran calls fresh US sanctions illegal, hostile

After the President's announcement on Friday, Obama officials who helped negotiate the 2015 agreement reiterated that the accord ensures Iran can not obtain a nuclear weapon.

The landmark agreement signed between six world powers is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. These restrictions were levied because of Iran's human rights violations, support of terrorism, and pursuit of a ballistic missile program.

He said the pact should be strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days, or else the USA will withdraw.

But he says this waiver will be the last and is meant to secure an agreement from European allies to fix what he says are flaws in the pact.

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The solidity of Iran and worldwide support for the agreement have blocked attempts by Trump and Israel to terminate this agreement or make changes to it, said the statement.

On Friday, Trump said the United States would withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal unless its "disastrous flaws" were fixed.

Iran has said it's not interested in any renegotiation and would nearly certainly view a side agreement between the USA and Europe as a violation of the deal. Most of those sanctions including the ones imposed on Iran's judiciary chief came as a outcome of the crackdown by the government of its citizens who were protesting peacefully last week. The Treasury Department also designated two Iranian defense industry firms that provide key maintenance and overhaul services for the military's helicopter and aircraft. It also sanctioned agencies that censor or limit access to the Internet.

The U.S. Congress requires the president to decide periodically whether to certify Iran's compliance with the deal and issue a waiver to allow U.S sanctions to remain suspended.

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Trump has argued behind the scenes that the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior USA official said.

Some of those deadlines came up this week.

He continued: "Third, unlike the nuclear deal, these provisions must have no expiration date".

The U.S. waived the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act (IFCA), a 2012 law that penalized companies that did business with Iran's energy, shipbuilding and shipping sectors, exported precious metals to Iran, and allowed Iran to deal in U.S. banknotes.

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The changes Trump has demanded include immediate inspections at all sites requested by the International Atomic Energy Agency; ensuring that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon; automatic resumption of USA sanctions if Iran does not comply and Iran's development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the USA of failing to comply with it. Or it could keep its end of the bargain and continue doing business with other countries in the deal - France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - and isolate the U.S.

Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May.

China will continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementing the Iran nuclear deal, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

Trump laid out several conditions to keep the United States in the deal.

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