USA hits Iran with new economic sanctions

Donald Trump Benjamin Netanyahu

Donald Trump Benjamin Netanyahu

As the United States and Iran mark two years since reaching their landmark deal on nuclear weapons, analysts say Iran has met its obligations stipulated by the agreement-while the US has failed to do so.

That means that most of the ancillary benefits that the deal could have produced in the form of reduced regional tensions and diplomatic channels with Tehran will be thrown away for the sake of fruitless antagonism and confrontation.

Trump denounced the deal during his campaign and promised to renegotiate it and get tough on Iran.

"He certainly has made very clear all along his great desire to fix the great flaws in the deal", a senior official said. Republicans have long argued that Tehran is abiding only by the strict letter of the deal, not the spirit.

The Senate bill, S. 722, which was later merged with a Russian Federation sanctions bill, has so far stalled in the House over concerns from the energy industry that a provision could block US companies from lucrative foreign oil deals.

The sanctions list also included organizations and individuals who helped the army of Iran, the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard Corps, as well as transnational criminal group located in Iran and three people associated with it.

Just one month into his candidacy, he said the Iran deal "poses a direct national security threat".

The certification of Iran's compliance must be pitched to Congress every 90 days.

The president is deeply uneasy about recertifying Iranian compliance.

And for a few hours on Monday afternoon, it looked like the White House was going to tell Congress it could not certify Iran was complying, without saying Iran was in breach of the pact.

Briefing reporters prior to the announcement, senior administration officials said that though Iran was complying with the letter of the JCPOA, the country is "unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the agreement.

Chief Political Correspondent David Brody says Trump wants out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, but the timing isn't right. In any case, neither Tillerson nor anyone else in the administration seems seriously to believe in the Iran deal's merits and utility.

While lifting nuclear-linked sanctions, the United States maintains sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program, human rights record and what Washington charges is its support for worldwide terrorism. Administration officials on Monday said the Treasury Department was still reviewing a proposed sale of civilian airliners from Boeing to Iran's largest airline.

Mohammed Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, defended the Regime's compliance with the deal, on Monday. "So we don't know which one to interpret in what way".

However, this is reminiscent of the reports from the White House in April, when the US State Department last certified that Iran was compliant with the deal.

Trump also argued the deal brokered by former President Barack Obama was a risky concession to Tehran, but half a year into his tenure he has not suspended it, only dubbing Iran "the main sponsor of terrorism".

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