US ex­tends Iran sanc­tions re­lief

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Matthew Lee

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.

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