The Trump administration also said it hopes for an amendment to congressional legislation that imposes triggers on Iran of its own- and that for the first time characterizes Tehran's ballistic missile program as "inseparable" from its nuclear work, bringing with it harsh sanctions.
"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a statement.
"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy", he said. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately. "Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".
Washington also announced sanctions against 14 entities and people, including the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani. President Trump has called it the "worst deal ever", accusing Tehran of breaching the terms and threatening to reimpose those sanctions.
"The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice". There are about 400 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors in Iran, and they indicate Iran is complying with the deal. It might well be enough to light the whole region on fire with renewed conflict.
Although Trump approved the waivers on Friday, he has railed against the deal since his presidential campaign, particularly against what he calls "sunset clauses" that allow Tehran to gradually resume wider nuclear activities in the next decade. His ouster in a U.S-backed coup in 1953 led to the return to power of the exiled shah of Iran.
Iran's military heavily relies on missiles as a deterrent; one of Iran's regional rivals, Saudi Arabia, purchased more than $110 billion in weaponry from the United States in 2017.
Under U.S. law, the sanctions can be waived for a maximum of 120 days, meaning the U.S. government must review the situation every four months.
It would target Iran's missile program and not simply its nuclear industry, and it would mandate UN inspections of Iranian sites.
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