By staff and agency

U.S. extends some Iran sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

September 15, 2017 - 20:3

The U.S. on Thursday extended some sanctions relief for Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal but said it has yet to decide whether to preserve the deal itself, the State Department said.

In a sign of U.S. President Donald Trump’s desire to put pressure on Iran, the U.S. Treasury announced new cyber-related and other sanctions on seven Iranian individuals, two Iranian entities and two Ukraine-based entities, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Trump, who must make a decision by mid-October that could withdraw from the agreement, claimed Iran is violating “the spirit” of the 2015 deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Trump must decide in October whether to certify that Iran is complying with the agreement. If he does not, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal.

The prospect of Washington reneging on the agreement has worried some of the key U.S. allies that helped negotiate the deal.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and wrote the law giving Congress the right to review the Iran deal, said he and the White House were preparing in case of a change in policy.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters the administration had approved waivers of some sanctions on Iran to “maintain some flexibility” as it develops its Iran policy. She did not specify which sanctions were waived.

Iran, the European Union, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council including the United States signed the nuclear deal in July 2015. It went into effect in January 2016.

On September 5, Haley laid out a case for President Donald Trump to step back from the nuclear deal, arguing that Iran’s technical compliance alone isn’t enough for the U.S. to stick with the pact. 

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