Iran sanctions: Tehran vows retaliation over Trump move

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In sharp contrast to Trump's view that the 2015 pact was "the worst deal ever negotiated", the foreign ministers of the three countries and the EU's top diplomat said there was no alternative to it and that sanctions should remain lifted.

In announcing that he was again waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, Trump said this action was being taken "only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal".

Recent speculation among oil traders about the near-term future of Iranian crude was settled Friday when the White House said that President Donald Trump will keep the United States in the Iran nuclear pact for now.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deal should be kept in place so that Europe and the United States could move on to other issues, such as confronting Iran over its missile programme and involvement in wars in Yemen and Syria.

"Either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw", he said.

Iran has been abundantly clear that it will not renegotiate the deal.

Washington announced sanctions against 14 entities and people, including the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

Trump formally rejected the deal in October, although the United States has not yet pulled out.

The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by former US President Barack Obama and other world leaders after two years of intense talks, marking a significant shift after decades of animosity between Tehran and the West. But the officials also want the triggers to include Iran's growing ballistic missile program, which was not part of the nuclear deal, and to remove sunset clauses that allow some nuclear restrictions to ease or phase out over time.

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Iran has said it's not interested in any renegotiation and would nearly certainly view a side agreement between the USA and Europe as a violation of the deal.

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", the president said Friday in a statement. It prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons while offering sanctions relief to allow the Islamic Republic to participate in worldwide commerce and banking.

Meanwhile, the Iranians have dismissed USA pressure to renegotiate the deal.

Iranian officials warned that a USA withdrawal from the deal would spell its doom.

Trump, the same day he waived the nuclear sanctions, imposed new sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses and its military adventurism. It also could hand Iran a pretext to start limiting United Nations inspections or restart its nuclear program.

Under JCPOA, the USA relaxed a ban on imports of Iranian luxury goods, such as carpets and caviar, but most US restrictions on trade with and investment with Iran remain in place, according to the CRS report.

Among those blacklisted is the head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Amoli Larijani.

The Treasury Department also listed several Chinese individuals and companies for breaking similar rules to provide materials to Iran that could be used in navigation and weapons systems.

Ryabkov said Moscow must unite with Europe and China and undertake "intense work" to keep the existing plan intact and decried what he said was a U.S. attempt to strongarm the situation.

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