Zarif: Trump 'desperate' to undermine nuclear deal

The Nation

The Nation

The most prominent among these is Sadeq Larijani, the head of the country's judiciary.

Iran has said that a decision by the United States, to impose sanctions on the head of its judiciary "crossed a red line", and has vowed to retaliate.

US President Donald Trump on Friday opted to extend sanctions relief provided to Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, but he warned European allies that he would pull out of the pact unless its "terrible flaws" are corrected.

"Trump's policy & today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29", Zarif said Friday on Twitter. Trump also wants to stop Iran's ballistic missile development, which has continued despite the United Nations Security Council resolution enacting the deal calling on Iran not to test such missiles.

European capitals will also be dismayed, having pressed Washington to accept that the deal was an global agreement and that Iran has abided by its terms.

Iran says the missiles it has tested are not created to carry nuclear warheads and insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

But Trump has maintained that the deal was "one of the most incompetent ever made", and in October 2017 he decertified the agreement.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that "unity is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, that is preventing a nuclear arms race in the region".

But he has continued to follow the example of his predecessor Barack Obama in regularly signing sanctions waivers so that U.S. economic measures against Tehran do not "snap back".

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) didn't like the idea of waiving Iran's nuclear sanctions.

The remark comes on the heels of Trump's decision on Friday to sign a waiver on Iranian sanctions, suspending punitive measures for another 120 days and keeping the Iran nuclear deal alive.

The statement came a day after Trump again continued the USA participation in the accord, but vowed to "withdraw from the deal immediately" if what he described as "flaws" in the agreement aren't fixed.

Britain, France and Germany called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

Hailed by Obama as key to stopping Iran from building a nuclear bomb, the deal lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear ambitions. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the US of failing to comply with it.

Additionally, along with pushing the deal back to Congress, the President authorized the U.S. Treasury to impose sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which he called a "corrupt personal terror force". China argues against Washington's unilateral anti-Tehran sanctions and speaks for implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, which "has not come by easily", Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters on Saturday.

The legislation is required to include certain "triggers" which will automatically lead to a reimposition of the sanctions if Iran fail to apply.

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