Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

State Dept. Extends Partial Iran Sanctions Relief, Adds New Penalties

State Dept. Extends Partial Iran Sanctions Relief, Adds New Penalties

Senior administration officials said the move was meant to signal a willingness to confront Iran over behavior it finds to be out of sync with the deal, despite the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations group assigned to monitor the deal, indicating that Iran has been in compliance.

Last month, the United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, travelled to Vienna to press the UN nuclear chief on her reading of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA and asked if the IAEA planned to inspect Iranian military sites, something she has called for.

The sanctions waivers, renewed every 120 days, come amid Donald Trump's continuous claims that he intends to declare Iran non-compliant with the nuclear deal.

In the meantime, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo urged Washington "to give up using sanctions as a tool in its foreign policy and instead deal with the world", in an interview with IRNA.

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Shamkhani further described the call for inspections of Iran's military site as "a propaganda campaign by American media" aimed at evading its obligations under the nuclear deal.

"However", he added, "researches are being done on the area of conventional weapons, especially in missile technology, within the framework of defense and deterrence capability which will be continued powerfully".

Any statement about the obligations under the deal has to be make through official channels, based on technical and legal approaches, lack prejudice and be examined at the IAEA alone, the Iranian official noted.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has said the issue of access to Iran's military sites is a "closed dossier", noting Iran will respond to USA "counter-constructive behavior".

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The IAEA said earlier in the month that it was not going to inspect the sites "just to send a political signal".

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it would extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions against Iran, but also imposed new sanctions unrelated to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The nuclear deal removed nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, which, in turn, placed some limits on its nuclear program.

With the deadline for Trump to decide whether the deal is to be preserved looming in October, relief from some of the sanctions on Iran as part of the agreement was extended on Thursday.

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Reports by Reuters, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, and ABC News, citing unnamed administration officials, both indicated that the White House is set to extend a waiver on wide-ranging oil, trade, and financial sanctions first lifted by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program in a landmark 2015 deal that Trump has repeatedly criticized.

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