Trump waives Iran sanctions, giving nuke deal “last chance” to fix its flaws; Iran rejects demand for change.
Iran said Saturday it won’t accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after President Donald Trump vowed to pull out of the accord in a few months if European allies did not fix its “terrible flaws.”
In a statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency, the Foreign Ministry said Iran “will not accept any change in the deal, neither now nor in future,” adding that it will “not take any action beyond its commitments.”
It also said Iran would not allow the deal to be linked to other issues, after Trump suggested that the sanctions relief under the deal be tied to Iran limiting its long-range ballistic missile program.
Trump on Friday extended the waivers of key economic sanctions that were lifted under the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program. But he said he would work with European allies to remove so-called “sunset clauses” that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade.
Trump delivered an ultimatum to America’s European allies to fix the “terrible flaws” in the Iran nuclear deal, or he’ll pull the U.S. out in a few months’ time. He made the threat as he extended waivers of key economic sanctions on Iran, keeping the accord alive at least for now. But his explicit warning to Europe that the deal must be fixed by the time the next sanctions waivers are due in the spring creates a high-stakes diplomatic deadline that will be difficult to meet.
Tough new rules
“This is a last chance,” Trump warned in a statement that outlined several tough new rules on Iran. “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”
Trump’s declaration puts great pressure on Britain, France and Germany, the European signatories to nuclear pact with Iran. Trump wants them to help the U.S. devise a new agreement designed to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.
The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, lifted international sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the U.S. of failing to comply with it. The next sanctions waivers are due in May.