US extends Iran nuke sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

Trump Admin Sanctions Iran's Ballistic Missile Program

But the White House also maintained the waiver of major sanctions on Iran agreed to in the nuclear deal. The agreement involved the USA, the United Kingdom, the EU, Russia, China and Germany.

As a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump frequently criticized the JCPOA as "the worst deal ever negotiated", but offered conflicting opinions on whether he would try to scrap it, renegotiate its terms or keep it in place. As president, he has altered his position, insisting that he is still studying the accord and hasn't made a final decision.

"The Chinese side is always opposed to unilateral sanctions, to the frequent implementation of unilateral sanctions, especially when it hurts interests of third parties", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says.

"The Treasury Department is imposing new sanctions on Iranian defense officials, an Iranian entity, and a China-based network that supplied missile-applicable items to a key Iranian defense entity".

Meanwhile, Tehran underlined that it will not stop its missile program despite a new round of sanctions.

Richard Nephew, a former U.S. negotiator with Iran now at Columbia University, called the renewal an "important step" in maintaining the deal but said it was still threatened by "congressional pressure, Republican politics, and the views of many people" in the Trump administration.

The Obama administration had avoided such sanctions to avoid upsetting the Iranians and potentially complicating the nuclear agreement.

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Since then his rhetoric against this particular agreement has softened, however, he has simultaneously hardened his stance against other non-nuclear issues his administration has with Iran and launched a government-wide review of the Iranian state's policies.

Also under US sanctions hit the Iranian company Iranian Novini System Management. In a memo to Tillerson and the secretaries of Energy and Treasury, Trump said there's enough oil being produced now by other countries that Iran's output could be reduced without hurting global supplies.

"As we continue to closely scrutinize Iran's commitment to the JCPOA and develop a comprehensive Iran policy, we will continue to hold Iran accountable for its human rights abuses with new actions", the report states.

As it now stands, all candidates have vowed to continue abiding by the JCPOA, including the frontrunning incumbent, President Hassan Rouhani and his closest contender, the hardline conservative cleric, Ibrahim Raisi.

Mr Rouhani has vowed to work towards the removal of remaining sanctions and called for more time to allow the benefits of the deal to reach ordinary Iranians.

"It is alarming that individuals involved with Iran's missile program are assisting the brutal Assad regime, and we are taking action to curtail this behavior", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said of the new sanctions. The Syrian agency produces non-conventional weapons such as the chemical weapons that Assad's forces used earlier this year. One of the officials is the director of Iran's Shahid Bakeri Industries Group. The sanctions also target a series of Chinese companies associated with Ruan Runling, a Chinese citizen.

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