Trump says he's extending Iran sanctions relief for last time

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 3:37 PM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Friday said he is extending sanctions relief to Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, but for the last time.

He said he's waiving nuclear sanctions under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action upon advice from his advisers. He said remaining in the pact will give Congress more time to come up with bipartisan legislation regarding Iran.

The JCPOA "gave Iran far too much in exchange for far too little. The enormous financial windfall the Iranian regime received because of the deal -- access to more than $100 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash -- has not been used to better the lives of the Iranian people.

"Instead, it has served as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression, and to further line the pockets of corrupt regime leaders. The Iranian people know this, which is one reason why so many have taken to the streets to express their outrage."

Trump said that any legislation regarding Iran must demand international inspections when requested at all sites, must ensure Iran doesn't come close to possessing a nuclear weapon, must not have any expiration date and must state that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable.

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said. "This is a last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately."

With the announcement Friday, Trump also said the Treasury Department is sanctioning 14 more Iranian individuals and entities.

The JCPOA, agreed to in 2015 by Iran, the P5+1 -- China, France, Russia, Britain, United States and Germany -- and the European Union, gave sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. Under the deal, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and reduce its number of gas centrifuges. Some of the restrictions on Iran are scheduled to be lifted after 10 and 15 years.

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