Iran threatens 'severe' response to United States sanctions against judiciary chief

Iran threatens 'severe' response to United States sanctions against judiciary chief

His decision will keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive for the time being.

"So Trump now has issued explicit May deadline to Congress and Europeans: Fix Iran nuke deal or no more sanctions waivers", wrote Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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 programme but Trump has argued that Obama negotiated a bad deal.

"This is a last chance", he added.

"Trump's policy (and) today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", Zarif tweeted shortly after Trump's statement.

The president called for European allies to strike a deal fixing the terms of the global agreement, which unfroze key Iranian financial assets in exchange for a reduction in its nuclear programs.

Iran vowed on Saturday that it will retaliate against US President Donald Trump's decision to slap its judiciary head with sanctions.

The waiver he will sign suspends sanctions for another 120 days but he warned that if a new agreement was not made, sanctions would not be waived again.

"If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran", he said.

President Donald Trump has handed European allies an ultimatum to revamp the nuclear deal with Iran, something they have no intention of doing, posing a potential new conflict with other world leaders.

The sanctions also target Chinese individuals and entities for their "support to designated Iranian weapons proliferators".

"The U.S. government, like other parties to the deal, is obliged to fulfill all its obligations, and if it fails to comply with its obligations under false pretexts, it should be fully held accountable for the consequences", the foreign ministry said in its statement. Trump is also urging Congress to reform U.S. law so the president is no longer required to declare every 90 days whether he thinks Iran is in compliance, or to renew sanctions waivers every 120 or 180 days.

The officials notably did not say that Trump expected the other two nations party to the deal - Russian Federation and China - to join in the revision of the deal.

"The vast majority of nonproliferation and security experts agree that the successful implementation of the JCPOA has effectively neutralized the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program", said Thomas Countryman, the chairman of the board of directors of the Arms Control Association and the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation. They also have said they don't think it realistically can be modified and have urged the United States to stick to its commitments and work separately on issues such as human rights abuses, corruption, ballistic missile testing and Iran's support for militant groups in other countries.

"If at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately", he said.

A ban on USA financial institutions doing business with Iranian banks remains in place. A White House spokesperson says that deal should address Tehran's ballistic missile program, tighten inspections, eliminate the agreement's sunset clauses and limit Iran to a one year breakout to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Under JCPOA, the US relaxed a ban on imports of Iranian luxury goods, such as carpets and caviar, but most USA restrictions on trade with and investment with Iran remain in place, according to the CRS report.

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