USA ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat

USA ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat

President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to America's European allies to fix the "terrible flaws" in the Iran nuclear deal, or he'll pull the USA out in a few months' time.

By thus "decertifying" the arrangement, he opened a window for Congress to reimpose sanctions, but to date, it has not done so - leaving the issue of the waivers.

In any event, the U.S. is likely to impose new sanctions on Iran over human right abuses and support for foreign extremist groups rather than nuclear back-sliding. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's judiciary and others.

Trump's Friday announcement will "reflect frustration at European allies and at Congress" for dragging their feet over proposed legislative changes that would call for stricter enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Bloomberg News foreign policy reporter in Washington.

The nuclear deal was negotiated with Iran by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

"In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump's stance "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement".

Report says in the final agreement, the West promises to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Also on Friday, the United States imposed separate sanctions against 14 Iranian individuals and entities it accuses of rights abuses, censorship and support for weapons proliferators.

The Republican leader grudgingly agreed to sign sanctions waivers, ensuring Washington will live up to its commitments for another 120 days, but he cautioned it would be "for the last time".

"Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

"This is a last chance", Trump warned in a statement that outlined several tough new rules on Iran.

European allies had strongly urged the White House to stick with the nuclear deal, saying a decision to abandon it would strain the transatlantic partnership. One aspect of the law that Trump has particularly bristled at is having to give Iran a "thumbs up" every few months by acknowledging that it is meeting its nuclear requirements.

He did not set a deadline, but under US law the president is required to waive sanctions every four months.

But Trump argues that his predecessor Barack Obama gave away too much to Iran in sanctions relief, without forcing the Islamic republic to end its ballistic missile program and support for militant groups.