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No US sanctions on Iran nuclear deal for now

14 January 2018

"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29", Zarif tweeted. JCPOA (the nuclear deal) is not renegotiable: "rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance - just like Iran", Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account.

The 2015 deal, he said, "is not renegotiable".

Diplomacy Works, a pressure group set up by former secretary of state John Kerry to defend the deal, was scathing.

On Friday, Trump also approved new sanctions against Iranian officials and organizations, including Sadeq Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary, and 13 other entities including the cyber unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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Officials said the administration will discuss the changes it is seeking with Europeans but will not talk directly with Iran.

He cited what he said were efforts by Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons, develop ballistic missiles, and support terrorist organizations, as well as what he called regional aggression, and "the cruel repression of Iranian citizens". "We are also targeting Iran's ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities, which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people". One aspect of the law that Trump has particularly bristled at is having to give Iran a "thumbs up" every few months by acknowledging that it is meeting its nuclear requirements.

Trump might not get much help on the deal from Congress either.

The head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Amoli Larijani, was put on the US blacklist.

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His comments on Sunday came just days after US President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the deal if its "disastrous flaws" were not fixed. It is hard to imagine how Tehran would take European demands for changing the deal seriously when those players know the demands come under duress.

The statement from his ministry further criticised new sanctions on 14 individuals announced by the US Treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

A statement from J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami called on members of congress and "any responsible officials remaining inside the administration" to take steps "to reverse this decision and prevent this disastrous policy from being carried out". "One of the reports will apparently include a list of individuals who might be targeted with the American sanctions, and the other as we believe, will encompass the effectiveness of the sanctions already in place", he said. He said he would only sign it if an Iranian refusal to allow United Nations inspectors to visit sites triggered an automatic re-imposition of US sanctions.

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No US sanctions on Iran nuclear deal for now