Trump extends sanctions relief to Iran under U.S.-Iran nuclear deal

Trump has however sanctioned a Chinese man and three Chinese companies along with two senior Iranian defense officials for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

In a move that has caught many by surprise, U.S. President Donald Trump has extended wide sanctions relief for Iran which came into effect in 2015 brokered by the previous Obama Administration.

The Trump administration has however imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Both moves signal a tough stance on Iran and a maturing that has caught many by surprise.

Earlier, Trump had come down heavily on the nuclear agreement and had said at one point that he would “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran”. Clearly now he has decided to keep it.

“The United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing U.S. sanctions-lifting commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” said the State Department in a statement.

In a separate statement, the U.S. Treasury Department stated it has sanctioned a Chinese man and three Chinese companies along with two senior Iranian defense officials for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The sanctions will now block the assets of the Chinese and Iranian individuals and companies that are located in the United States and bars Americans and non-Americans from doing business with them.

The decision to waiver the sanctions represent a major policy choice for the Trump administration, which is in the process of reviewing its policy on engaging with Iran.

As per Richard Nephew, a former U.S. negotiator who worked on the Iran deal and is now at Columbia University, the move is an “important step” in maintaining the deal. He however went on to add, it was still threatened by “congressional pressure, Republican politics, and the views of many people” who form part of the Trump administration.

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