Trump waives nuclear sanctions on Iran


The US Treasury Department said that the sanctions companies provided assistance for a key Iranian defense company while Ruan Runling provided Tehran with ballistic missile technologies.

Separately, the State Department said it might add new sanctions targeting Iran's human rights abuses, which also are not covered under the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran's foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the country will continue its missile program in line with its "inalienable and legal right" to upgrade the country's defensive capabilities, the ministry's spokesman Bahram Ghasemi wrote on his Telegram channel May 18.

Trump administration officials say the White House is carrying out a comprehensive review of USA policy on Iran, which is focused on what officials consider Tehran's expanding influence in the region.

"The U.S. and its partners will continue to apply pressure on Iran to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone in Iran", said Stuart E. Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, who will be traveling with Mr. Trump to the Middle East at the end of the week.

Since the nuclear deal, Iran has signed billion-dollar deals with Boeing and Airbus to replace and upgrade its aging commercial fleet.

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The message of these sanctions is clearly political, including bringing up the Iranian matter in USA diplomacy, according to Irina Fedorova, an expert of the Institute for Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. As a candidate, Trump was free to join his fellow Republicans in denouncing the Iran nuclear deal as the 'worst deal in history, ' as he described it on more than one occasion.

The extension of sanctions relief came as a surprise in light of US President Donald Trump's frequently stated opposition to the "terrible" deal.

Under the terms of the 2015 deal, the previous USA administration of President Barack Obama agreed to waive sanctions on Iran's nuclear program in return for strict controls to prevent it from developing atomic weapons.

But it balanced the decision with new measures against Iranian defence officials and a Chinese business linked to Iran's ballistic missile programme.

On Friday, Iranian voters will decide whether to give a second four-year term to incumbent Hassan Rouhani, whose negotiation on the nuclear deal was supposed to put him on a glide path to re-election. "And they were also at the table and they still support the deal". Hints dropped by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the ultimate power in Iran, suggest he favors Raisi, too. He has pledged to triple government subsidies, now $12 a month for the poorest Iranians. "If it's undercut by Iranian rejection of what the deal brought, it will be more hard to anticipate it enduring more than months". Worldwide sanctions will not "snap back", as President Obama said they would if Iran cheated.

Information for this article was contributed by Josh Lederman of The Associated Press and by Carol Morello of The Washington Post.