US extends Iran nuclear sanctions relief

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

"If they don't renew the waivers they will have a big mess on their hands", Timothy O'Toole, a sanctions attorney at a United States law firm told Financial Times.

The administration of US President Donald Trump chose to stick by the nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday, renewing a waiver of nuclear-related sanctions despite his past criticism of the agreement. But Washington must issue periodic waivers to keep the penalties from snapping back into place, and the most recent one was set to expire this week. However since assuming the presidency, he has tempered his position, suggesting that he is studying the accord with an eye for its details, and that he is yet to reach a final position on its contents. The move to extend the sanctions relief in the meantime was another indication Trump may be laying the groundwork to let the deal stand.

Remaining, unilateral USA sanctions imposed over Iran's record on human rights, terrorism and ballistic missiles development has scared many would-be foreign investors seen as indispensable to reviving an economy stunted by many years of isolation.

However, it will also impose some new sanctions against several Iranian individuals and four other organizations, including a China-based network that supplied missile-related items to a key Iranian defense entity, reports the Hill. This may be meant to "undercut the impression that Trump is softening on Iran", The Associated Press wrote. But continuing the sanctions relief requires the renewal of a six-month waiver. It says Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war, Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war and the Hezbollah Shi'ite political party and militia in Lebanon, have helped destabilise the Middle East.

China has long expressed its dissatisfaction with the U.S.' use of the sanctions weapon, which frequently affects Chinese individuals and companies allegedly linked to weapons or nuclear development in Iran or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Senators Say Still Many Questions To Be Answered After Rosenstein Briefing
The appointment of Mueller as special counsel came as a welcome surprise to many, including Bernazzani, who used to work for him. Swecker served as Assistant Director of the FBI Criminal Investigations Division under Mueller.

Market Insights on: Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL)
The business had revenue of $2.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $2.12 billion. (NYSE:FL). In related news, SVP Paulette Alviti sold 8,000 shares of Foot Locker stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 20th.

Brazil's president may lead a 'walking dead administration'
Although alleged to have participated in large-scale bribery deals, he could not be prosecuted for crimes prior to his mandate. To judge by the impeachments and scandals, money is evidently trickling down to the Brazilian political class.

The new sanctions came at a sensitive time for Iran, with presidential elections just two days away.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in April that Iran was complying with its side of the bargain, but has described the country as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. But the US also announced new unrelated sanctions in a bid to show it wasn't letting Tehran off the hook. Iran will hold is presidential election on Friday, May 19, and sees the incumbent moderate president Rouhani face off with a conservative hard-line challenger, Ebrahim Raisi.

The decision poses a major challenge to Trump, who has been critical of the deal.

The new sanctions, issued by the Treasury Department, cover two senior Iranian defense officials, an Iranian company, a Chinese man, and three Chinese companies.

Other reports by GizPress

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER