Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive for now

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However, the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over alleged human rights abuses.

On Friday, Trump extended waivers of key economic sanctions on Iran for another 120 days but said he was doing so "for the last time". They believe that it is the best chance of ensuring the curtailment of Iran's uranium enrichment activity. It now expires after a decade.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

What are the new sanctions?

In his lengthy statement, Trump said the USA would work with European partners to remove the nuclear deal's so-called "sunset clauses", which allow Iran to gradually resume advanced atomic activity. The Treasury Department's action hits 14 Iranian officials and companies and businessmen from Iran, China and Malaysia, freezing any assets they have in the US and banning Americans from doing business with them.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House January 10, 2018.

The head of the Iranian judiciary had called for a crackdown on "rioters" and "vandals" following a recent spate of anti-government protests in Iranian cities.

Meanwhile an Iranian politician said Iran "will not mourn" if the USA pulls out of the nuclear deal.

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Iran says its nuclear program has only peaceful aims and says it will stick to the accord as long as others respect it.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, on Friday accused Trump of "desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", while European leaders have urged "all parties to continue to fully implement this agreement".

The landmark accord was signed between six global powers and Iran in 2015. It was agreed upon by the United States under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Iran and five other countries in July 2015. The US Congress requires the president to decide periodically whether to certify Iran's compliance with the deal and issue a waiver to allow US sanctions to remain suspended. Trump wants the bans to be permanent. Trump has called the deal "the worst ever".

Ryabkov said the USA withdrawal from the deal would damage other worldwide agreements.

"Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a statement.

"As a first step, we will coordinate with the E3 and the other EU Member States to jointly assess the statement and its implications." said Catherine Ray, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

US presidents, under existing American law, must waive the sanctions every few months to prevent them from causing Iran to declare the nuclear pact violated and simply walk away to resume pursuit of an atomic arsenal. Iranian officials have said they are not interested in any renegotiation.

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