United States imposes new sanctions on Iran over missile tests

Netanyahu iran

Then Donald Trump was elected president.

Meanwhile, the grassroots disarmament organization Peace Action wrote on Thursday that the Iran deal should be held up as a model for diplomacy, as the US weighs its options in handling growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear capabilities-thus far, imposing sanctions and refusing to participate in talks with North Korea.

In a growing battle between Trump and his cabinet, Trump was planning to tell Congress he wouldn't recertify compliance, while conceding that there was no example of Iran not complying with the deal. They all told the president the same thing: he needs to preserve the global nuclear agreement with Iran.

Here are the talking points from Buzzfeed.

The agreement was opposed by most Republicans, specially hawks who argued the administration had squandered a chance to compel the Iranian government reeling under the debilitating effects of the sanctions to give up its nuclear programme entirely instead of settling on a temporary freeze.

There was just one problem: Donald Trump.

This is likely the United States policy going forward, at least for now, efforts to sabotage the deal with violations while grudgingly conceding that Iran isn't actually violating the deal. What's more, Iran's regional behavior has only been getting worse since his inauguration.

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But the president has expressed deep ambivalence about the agreement, which he repeatedly vowed to tear up on the campaign trail, and senior officials reportedly had to talk him into Monday's announcement. The certification is required every 90 days.

The predicament, according to administration officials, was that Congress, not to mention the other signatories to the seven-party agreement, was not prepared.

Trump and his top security officials have always taken a tough line on Iran: his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, fought Iranian-backed militias during the USA occupation of Iraq while serving as a Marine general, and memories are still fresh of Hezbollah's attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

President Trump, who lambasted the 2015 pact as a candidate, gave himself more time to decide whether to scuttle it or let it stand.

Eventually, Trump walked back from the ledge, and the administration certified Tehran's compliance.

"There have been a number of years of concessions to the Iranian regime, and the administration does not intend to overlook those any further". Instead, Tehran has argued that the US hasn't lived up to its end of the bargain by pressing European allies not to do business with Iran.

The five nuclear powers - China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States - plus Germany, are planning to meet this Friday to take stock of the deal. Iran has already received much of the money that was frozen in foreign banks under the crippling sanctions that brought its representatives to the negotiations. The US agreed to remove economic sanctions in return for limiting Iran's nuclear enrichment stockpile.

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Trump has called the deal fatally flawed and said he would either renegotiate it or kill it. In some ways this is not surprising.

While Trump has officially recognized Iran's compliance with the agreement, one administration official explained to reporters the basis for Trump's reservations. So Iran will have its money and they'll be free to develop a nuclear weapon if they want to-all without having to go to the trouble of breaking the treaty themselves. That deal is under scrutiny because Iran uses its civilian air fleet to send supplies, personnel and weapons to the war in Syria.

"We receive contradictory signals", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations before the decision was announced.

"These activities seriously undermine the intent of the agreement", the official said.

The Iranian Majlis approved by a majority of votes the bill on countering "American terrorism" in the Middle East, Iranian State TV said on Tuesday. He is a well known dissembler. "Missiles are the basis of our defense", Zarif said on Monday addressing a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in NY.

Zarif accused the Trump administration of failing to lift sanctions in line with the deal.

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