US extends Iran sanctions relief
WASHINGTON » The Trump administration on Thursday extended sanctions relief to Iran, avoiding imminent action that could implode the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, even as President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Tehran of not respecting the entire agreement.
The extensions of the waivers on nuclear sanctions, first issued by the Obama administration, were accompanied by new penalties imposed against 11 Iranian people and companies accused of supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program or involvement in cyber-attacks against the U.S. financial system.
The combination of steps, — internally called “waive and slap” — came as the administration nears completion of a monthslong review of its Iran policy, which is expected next month — per- haps as early as Oct. 15, when Trump must inform Congress if Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement and whether the deal remains in U. S. national security interests.
Aboard Air Force One, Trump said he believes Iran is violating its terms and spirit.
“The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Not a fair deal to this country. It’s a deal that should have never ever been made. You’ll see what we’re doing ... it’s going to be in October.”
Tillerson, in London at a news conference, said the administration’s approach to Iran could not be determined on the basis of the nuclear accord alone.
“We must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just its nuclear capabilities,” he said, citing obligations to uphold regional and international security.