Trump Sanctions Iran over Missiles, Continues Sanctions Relief over Nukes

19 May, 2017, 12:12 | Author: Leticia Walters

Jones statement coincided with the Department of Treasury's announcement of new sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile programme.

Meanwhile, the US Departments of State and Treasury announced to apply new targeted sanctions on individuals and firms helping Iran's banned ballistic missile programme.

Trump, who is due to visit the Middle East next week, vowed to "tear up" the nuclear deal as a candidate but since taking office in January, the administration has upheld the agreement while reviewing US policy and announcing a series of narrow sanctions that fall outside the accord.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. Critics in Iran have complained that the deal has not produced sufficient economic benefits, and critics in the United States say it rewarded Iran without long-term guarantees to prevent Tehran from securing nuclear weapons.

"The action reflects concern with Iran's continued development of ballistic missiles, which is in inconsistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231".

Iran's right to strengthen its military capabilities is not a violation of the country's nuclear agreement with world powers, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

And US officials vowed to maintain pressure on Iran over human rights abuses and renewed their demand that Tehran release US citizens held in its notorious jails.

Leaving aside the fact that the Trump Administration is now distracted by the seemingly endless series of revelations related to the investigation into Russian interference in the election and Trump campaign contacts with Russia, there quite simply isn't any good reason to back out of the deal, and no indication that the United States would have any support from its worldwide partners if it tried to renege on the deal.

Bloomberg Politics notes that even as these new sanctions were announced, the Trump administration "notified Congress that it's continuing to waive sanctions, including restrictions on oil sales, that were eased under the 2015 deal between world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program", based on an April finding that "Iran is complying with its side of the deal".

The Trump administration has called the nuclear agreement with Iran "the worst deal ever negotiated", and senior administration officials have repeatedly criticized Iran's behavior for its support for Bashar Assad in Syria, its ballistic missile activities and its support for militant groups in the region.

"The related new missile sanctions are similar to the ones that the Obama Administration had imposed and that the Trump Administration imposed earlier this year and so do not represent a drastically different view on Iran between the two Administrations".

That was a relief to Mr Rouhani, who made the 2015 nuclear deal the centrepiece of his efforts to end Iran's isolation and rebuild its economy with foreign investment.

The election will occur just before Trump leaves on an eight-day trip to Europe and the Middle East, with his first stop in Saudi Arabia, a bitter regional rival of Iran.

Prior to the latest round of sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said the USA opponents of the JCPOA "try to cause tumultuous atmosphere and the aim behind escalation of sanctions is just to raise hue and cry".

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