Trump extends Iran sanctions relief, warns it's the last time

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A senior administration official said Trump wants the 2015 Iran deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the worldwide pact.

Iranian authorities said Saturday they won't accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after President Trump vowed to pull out of the accord in a few months if European allies did not fix its "terrible flaws".

Iran argues that continued United States sanctions on non-nuclear areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred Iran from gaining numerous financial benefits expected from the deal.

The EU said in a statement it had taken note of Trump's decision and would assess its implications.

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"The American administration has failed to undermine the nuclear deal ..."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump's stance "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement". JCPOA is not renegotiable: "rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, U.S. must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran", Zarif said on his social Twitter account.

"Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw". In exchange, economic sanctions on it were lifted. Trump wants them to help the US devise a new agreement created to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.

In his speech on Friday, the USA president called on all of the country's allies to counter the Islamic Republic's "other malign activities", cut off funding to Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), designate Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement as a "terrorist organization".

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Trump had come under heavy pressure from European allies to issue the sanctions waiver. Trump has repeatedly criticized the accord, while Iran has accused the USA of failing to comply with it.

"The UK has a clear position on the Iran nuclear deal: we regard it as a crucial agreement that makes the world a safer place by neutralizing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran", the British Foreign Office said.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran and the other global signatories.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker has been working on amending a U.S. law to include "trigger points" that if crossed by Iran would automatically bring back United States sanctions.

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Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May. "It also will not allow the JCPOA to be linked to any other issue", it said.

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