US extends Iran nuke sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

Violet Powell
May 20, 2017

Trump has harshly criticized the Iran deal, suggesting that former Secretary of State John Kerry could have walked away from negotiations and gotten more concessions from Iran.

Lawrence Ward, a partner at global law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said that the announcement by the State Department to continue the U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal is quite significant. However since assuming the presidency, he has tempered his position, suggesting that he is studying the accord with an eye for its details, and that he is yet to reach a final position on its contents.

Two top Iranian defense officials were named personally for allegedly providing missile technology to the Syrian government, along with a Chinese electronics company the Treasury Department said manufactured missile-guiding technology on behalf of Iran.

Separately, the treasury department said it had sanctioned two senior Iranian defence officials, an Iranian company, a Chinese man and three Chinese companies for supporting Iran's ballistic missile programme.

According to Reuters, some of the waivers were set to expire this week unless they were extended by the commander in chief.

The United States claims that Iran's missile tests violated Resolution 2231, which was adopted in July 2015 to endorse the nuclear agreement.

During Trump's election campaign he vowed to "rip up" the nuclear agreement with Tehran if elected, calling it "the worst deal ever". Iran is buying 20 of the ATR 72-600 planes. It also has clinched bigger deals with trans-Atlantic rivals Airbus and Boeing.

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Talking to leading national daily he said "In 1991 the entire economic regime was changed and no state was consulted". Under it, C-GST will be levied by the Centre, S-GST by states and I-GST on inter-state supply of goods and services.

Wendy Sherman, who served as undersecretary of State for political affairs from 2011 to 2015, said that the nuclear deal allows the U.S.to use "all options" if Iran were to backpedal on the deal.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday imposed sanctions on nine United States firms and individuals in retaliation for new sanctions on the Islamic republic over its missile programme.

The State Department also released a report on Iran's human rights violations that's required by Congress every six months.

Prior to the latest round of sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said the US opponents of the JCPOA "try to cause tumultuous atmosphere and the aim behind escalation of sanctions is just to raise hue and cry".

The moves come as Iran prepares for a presidential vote on Friday whose outcome has major implications for Iran's future stance toward the US and its likelihood of sticking with the deal.

Instead, the nuclear agreement's failure to lift the economy is at the heart of a surprisingly strong challenge from Ebrahim Raisi.

Europe's leaders are quickly moving forward on economic normalisation with Iran, and scuttling the nuclear deal would have wide-ranging diplomatic repercussions with major allies, she said.

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