Trump Waives Nuclear-Related Sanctions On Iran But Imposes New Ballistic Missile Sanctions – BuzzFeed News

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The Trump administration has decided not to torpedo the historic nuclear deal with Iran and is renewing key waivers that allow foreign companies to do business with the Islamic Republic, two administration officials tell BuzzFeed News. At the same time, the Treasury Department is set to sanction seven targets, including two Iranian defense officials, for activities related to missile development, the officials said.

A State Department report that condemns Iran for human rights violations will round out the administration’s package of Iran announcements two days before Iran’s presidential elections.

The actions, set to take place on Wednesday, represent a significantly more aggressive approach to Iran than under the Obama administration but stop short of an all-out abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers including the US and Russia.

US allies, including Germany, France and Britain, have urged the Trump administration against walking away from the deal, which lifted a raft of economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for strict curbs on its nuclear program.

The Trump administration’s decision comes at crucial moment for US-Iranian relations. The waivers, which exempt foreign companies that do business with Iran from US sanctions still on the books, will expire before Iranian’s go to the polls to elect their next president on Friday.

The waivers are a central component of the Iran deal that President Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent, has built his reputation on. He faces Ebrahim Raisi, a leading conservative candidate who takes a harder line against the United States and the West. In Iran, the nuclear deal is unpopular with some conservatives who say it has failed to deliver the economic benefits promised by Rouhani.

The deal is also controversial inside the Trump administration, with some officials pushing for the US to walk away from the agreement and others urging more restraint.

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump took a range of positions, saying he would vigorously enforce the deal on some days and vowing to “dismantle the disastrous deal” on other days.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has certified that Iran is “compliant” with the deal, but has ordered an interagency review of US-Iran policy. It has also increased non-nuclear related sanctions against the regime, heightening long-simmering tensions between the two adversaries.

The State Department report on Iran’s human rights abuses, which is submitted to Congress on a semi-annual basis, will review the human rights sanctions that have been issued in the last six months, including individuals added to the US sanctions list in April due to abuses at Tehran’s Evin Prison.

This story is developing…

Trump Waives Nuclear-Related Sanctions On Iran But Imposes New Ballistic Missile Sanctions – BuzzFeed News

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