Trump Sanctions Iran over Missiles, Continues Sanctions Relief over Nukes

Trump administration will let Iran nuclear deal live, US officials say

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, May 17, extended wide sanctions relief for Iran called for under a 2015 global nuclear deal even as he imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile programme.

The administration of U.S. president Donald Trump chose to continue waiving nuclear-related sanctions on Wednesday despite its criticism of the agreement. The Treasury said Farasatpour coordinated the sale and delivery of explosives and other materiel for Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC).

"This administration is committed to countering Iran's destabilising behaviour, such as Iran's development of ballistic missiles", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. At one point, Trump said that he would "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran".

On January 13, the U.S. imposed sanctions on 13 people and 12 entities in relation to Iran's ballistic missile programme. Some foreign investors, such as French oil major Total, have previously said they were waiting to see whether the waiver extensions would be granted before making decisions on multi-billion-dollar investments in Iran.

The Trump administration is keen to maintain its tough stance against Iran ahead of the president's visits next week to Tehran's main foes - USA allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

"Iran continues to pursue missile-related technologies capable of delivering a nuclear weapon", Jones said.

Under the 2015 deal, the USA and other world powers eased sanctions after the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had taken a series of steps to pull its nuclear program back from the brink of weapons capability.

While the USA says it will continue waiving these sanctions, it is ratcheting up other sanctions related to human rights abuses and the country's ballistic missile program.

Jones said the U.S.is still forming a "comprehensive Iran policy, " alluding to President Donald Trump's assertion that he may tear up the deal after he finishes reviewing it.

But the USA will also impose new economic penalties related to the country's missile work.

Nevertheless, he added, the Treasury will apply new targeted sanctions on individuals and firms helping Iran's missile banned ballistic program and to hold Tehran to account for rights abuses.

The Trump administration signed a waiver today that suspends sanctions against Iran.

Under the deal, the USA and five other world powers agreed to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran rolling back its nuclear program.

"At least as of now, it appears that drastically changing USA economic sanctions on Iran is taking a back-seat to domestic concerns", he said.

"It's a clear message to foreign banks and companies looking to do business with Iran: You will be taking significant risks if you deal with a regime engaged in continued malign conduct and still covered by a web of expanding non-nuclear sanctions", he said.

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