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Iran nuclear deal: Trump to extend sanctions waiver - reports

Iran nuclear deal: Trump to extend sanctions waiver - reports
From BBC - January 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump is to extend a sanctions waiver for Iran, leaving the 2015 nuclear deal intact, according to unnamed officials.

But Mr Trump is expected to set a deadline for Congress and European allies to improve the deal or the US will abandon it, the officials say.

Mr Trump has criticised the deal, which saw sanctions lifted when Iran agreed to limit its nuclear fuel production.

European powers say that the accord is vital for international security.

Mr Trump decided to extend sanctions relief for another 120 days after a meeting with his national security team, said the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The president is facing a Friday deadline to decide how to proceed and the White House is due to make an announcement.

The president has repeatedly said he wants to amend the deal - or withdraw from it completely.

In October, he refused to recertify for Congress that Iran was complying with the deal, accusing the country of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement.

In a separate development, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he expected President Trump to impose a separate set of sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions are believed to target Iranian businesses and people allegedly involved in missile tests, supporting terrorism, and human rights abuses.

What does Mr Trump want to change in the Iran deal?

The US president declared in October that the agreement was "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into", and warned that within a few years Iran would be able to "sprint towards a rapid nuclear weapons breakout".

He accused Iran of committing "multiple violations" and promised to work with Congress to "address the deal's many serious flaws".

Mr Trump said they included the deal's "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment programme after 2025.

He also wants to give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to Iranian military sites, and for the deal to cover Iran's ballistic missile programme.

Why does Europe back the nuclear deal?

Why is Iran's missile programme controversial?

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