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USA to step up pressure on Iran, its ally

USA to step up pressure on Iran, its ally

At the same time the United States imposed fresh sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over alleged rights abuses.

Trump has sharply criticized the agreement and vowed to rip it up, but his national security advisors have urged him to wait while they work with Congress and USA allies in an effort to strengthen its provisions.

The White House wants European Union signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment.

Nuclear deal supporters insist that reinstating sanctions will only harm the protesters...

Even if he does continue to waive sanctions, Trump could also say or do something on Friday that would take the United States closer to noncompliance. American laws governing those sanctions require the waivers to be renewed every several months. Issuing designations for 14 individuals and entities, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the USA will not be a silent spectator while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice. If they cannot reach an agreement, Congress could end the United States role in the JCPOA. Widespread protests in Iran over the last two weeks have focused on the country's faltering economy, however, as well as high unemployment and government corruption.

"The Trump regime's hostile action (against Larijani)... crossed all red lines of conduct in the worldwide community and is a violation of global law and will surely be answered by a serious reaction of the Islamic Republic", the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

As the deadline to approve a fresh set of waivers drew near, the gulf between Mr Trump's worldview and those of his aides and allies was freshly exposed.

Trump also faces a deadline Friday to say whether he will "certify" to Congress that Iran is complying with the deal and that it remains in US interests to adhere to it. Trump declined to make that certification in October, throwing the deal into limbo but not breaking it outright.

Zarif said Washington was already "maliciously violating" three sections of the agreement, including paragraph 26 which requires the U.S. to "make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting".

Harman flies into lead at Sony Open
But disaster struck on the par-four eighth hole, when his tee shot hit a tree - before his next three also hit trees. It meant the pair were a shot ahead of Brian Harman , Vaughn Taylor, Kyle Stanley and PGA Tour rookie Talor Gooch .

What is the nuclear deal?

America's allies see the accord as the best way of thwarting Iran's quest for nuclear arms and a victory for multilateral diplomacy. "The smooth implementation of the agreement should be accompanied by a stepped-up dialogue with Iran on its ballistic missile program and its regional policy in order to guarantee greater stability in the Middle East".

Even though Mr Trump has now imposed a 120-day deadline on his European partners, it does not appear like they have the appetite to negotiate a follow-on agreement regarding Iran.

However, CNBC reports that there has been little progress on this bill since it was first outlined in October, around the time of Trump's decertification announcement. At the time, the President warned that he would take further action to nullify the deal if Congress and the allies did not act.

"The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.

"My impression talking to Europeans is, yes, they want to salvage the deal", but imposing new requirements on Iran may give it reason to walk away.

Meanwhile an Iranian politician said Iran "will not mourn" if the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear deal.

This would involve negotiations between the USA and its European allies rather than talks with Iran, the official said. Others were linked to support for the country's ballistic missile program.


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