USA prolongs sanctions against Iran

Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.

Elsewhere in his statement, Mr. Trump echoed the official United States policy: while maintaining Washington's stance on lifting parts of sanctions against Tehran, the U.S. keeps cautious in its policies dealing with Iran.

"The officials say Trump told Netanyahu that until now the three European powers only proposed "cosmetic changes" that he doesn't find satisfactory. So we were not really thinking the same", Trump said before departing for California.

US President Donald Trump has renewed the national emergency with respect to Iran for one more year, beyond March 15, 2018 according to a Presidential statement dated March 12.

It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming US secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump has said that he will allow for the reimposition of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran upon a mid-May waiver deadline unless Europe agrees to some form of renegotiation. Votel even warned over possible consequences if President Trump withdraws from the pact.

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"President Trump has called on the Congress and our European allies to enact real and lasting restraints on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions".

The Iran nuclear deal was agreed to during the Obama administration.

In a January 13 cable, the State Department sketched out a path under which the three European allies would simply commit to try to improve the deal over time in return for Trump keeping the pact alive by renewing sanctions relief in May. A USA withdrawal could wreck the agreement, scaring off European investment that Iran saw as a key reward for agreeing to limit its uranium enrichment and other nuclear work. Trump cited Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support for the deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a reason for the top diplomat's surprise sacking Tuesday.

If the deal unravels and Iran concludes it has no economic incentive to hold back on its nuclear work, then Tehran could expel United Nations inspectors and head down a fast track to building nuclear weapons - possibly in a matter of months.

"The JCPOA addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran, so if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with their nuclear weapons program", said Votel.

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