Trump is developing US policy and extending Iran sanctions

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will extend sanctions relief for Iran given under the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic republic.

In a statement, Stuart Jones, an acting assistant secretary at State, said the administration would continue to waive sanctions as required under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The waivers were set to expire Wednesday.

The US continues to “closely scrutinize” Iran’s commitment to the Obama-era nuclear deal and the Trump administration is still developing a “comprehensive” Iran policy, Jones said.

“This ongoing review does not diminish the United States’ resolve to continue countering Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region, whether it be supporting the Assad regime, backing terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, or supporting violent militias that undermine governments in Iraq and Yemen,” Jones said. “And above all, the United States will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

As a candidate for president, Donald Trump criticized the nuclear deal the Obama administration brokered with Iran as the “worst deal ever” claiming he would negotiate a “better” deal, without offering specifics. On April 18, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran has complied to date with its requirements under the deal, while calling the deal a failure a day later.

The US Treasury Department Wednesday announced unrelated, new sanctions in connection to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Since the nuclear deal was reached in July 2015, Iranian oil production has climbed from 2.8 million b/d to 3.81 million b/d in April, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

The extension of the sanctions comes ahead of Iran’s presidential election on Friday.


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