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Trump says he will soon take a decision on Iran sanctions

12 January 2018

This would presumably save President Trump from continuing to either defy his own views of the JCPOA or court worldwide condemnation by decertifying it, only to take little or no further action against it.

The decision coincides with the administration's efforts to secure a fix from Congress on the requirement for Trump to address Iran's compliance every three months. They fought to prevent Trump from decertifying the Iran deal last summer because they were more anxious about irritating Europe and the foreign-policy establishment. "We don't want to judge [things] beforehand".

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In fact, the United States is the only party that has threatened to scrap the deal, a stance that has been confronted by other participants. "The EU should instead condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran and bring the perpetrators of the crimes to global tribunals".

She stressed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had confirmed Tehran's compliance with the deal in nine reports. The next day, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also reacted similarly, although cautiously, regarding the possibility that Trump would refuse to issue the waivers. US sanctions also target the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, the elite military force that is active in regional hot spots, including Yemen, Syria and Iraq. "This is not acceptable". However, against the backdrop of recent protests in Iran, this binary focus overlooks a third, more insidious path the Trump administration may pursue. One high-ranking Iranian diplomat told Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity, "Trump has shown the world that he is more unpredictable than we all thought he was". Their goal is as simple as it is nefarious: Make the deal so unattractive to the Iranian government that it chooses to walk away from it, which would allow Washington to blame Tehran, even though it's Washington that is actively collapsing the agreement. Does this mean that the JCPOA will survive? Let's see how we can raise the cost. If he does not sign the sanctions waiver this week, the USA will be violating its end of the nuclear agreement.

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Trump allowed the deal to remain in place a year ago while Congress considered legislation to strengthen the 2015 agreement. In the last days, we have been in touch with the Iranian authorities. The administration would like nuclear sanctions to snap-back on Tehran if it falls back into old habits after prohibitions outlined in the deal have expired. They cast a light on popular discontent with Iran's activist foreign policy in the Middle East, which has seen the government spend blood and treasure fighting a grueling proxy war in Syria. If, on the other hand, the Europeans decide to cave under pressure and comply with the policies of the United States, then the situation will change. Zarif, no doubt, once again raised what Iran expects from Europe in his meetings in Brussels on January 11. Steinberg told WIN, "The Iranians may stomp out in anger". The report added that Bahram Qasemi, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that Tehran had already planned a "heavy response" for any action the USA takes against the continued implementation of the JCPOA. Xinhua News Agency added that Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, had warned of a response that would be "rapid" and a "surprise" to the United States.

"The EU remains committed to the full and effective implementation of the agreement, including to make sure that the lifting of the nuclear-related sanctions has a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, including benefits for the Iranian people", Federica Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels.

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MARTIN: The deadline for reimposing these sanctions on Iran is tomorrow. Therefore, Iran's response to Trump's next move will in essence have less to do with his reaction and more to do with what Europe may do next.

Trump says he will soon take a decision on Iran sanctions