WASHINGTON, DC – Senior administration officials announced on Friday that President Donald Trump will waive, once more, the nuclear sanctions that the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) require so that the United States can remain in the Iran deal. Trump also authorized the Treasury Department to levy new sanctions against Iran.
However, senior officials made it clear in his that this will be the last such waiver the commander-in-chief will issue.
Senior administration officials said that this action would not entail direct negotiations with the Iranian regime, but instead that President Tump would be working with America’s European partners to reimpose multilateral sanctions should the Iranians surpass the new triggers the White House and Treasury Department will lay out.
President Trump has repeatedly denounced the Iran deal and nuclear agreement that was negotiated by former President Barack Obama, going so far as saying he will rip it up. October was his first time refusing to certify the deal. However, he has yet to scrap it altogether.
Trump’s decision to waive the sanctions reportedly came at the recommendation of his national security team, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
In addition to the announcement that President Trump would once again waive nuclear sanctions that were implemented under the Obama administration, the Treasury Department announced that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated 14 individuals and entities in connection with serious human rights abuses and censorship in Iran.
The Treasury Department noted that Friday’s sanctions are part of the Trump administration’s larger actions to counter the Iranian grime growing and destabilizing behavior, which includes human rights violations. The sanctioned entities and individuals are Iranian and Chinese.
They are Iranian clerics, politicians, and the current and fifth head of the judicial system of Iran following the Islamic revolution of 1979: Sadegh Amoli Larijani Rajaee Shahr Prison and Gholamreza Ziaei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Electronic Warfare and Cyber Defense Organization, the Supreme Council of Cyberspace and The National Cyberspace Center, Green Wave Telecommunication and Morteza Razavi, Iran Helicopter Support and Renewal Company and Iran Aircraft Industries, Chinese national Shi Yuhua, the Iran and China-Based Procurement Network.
These designations arrive in addition to five other designations made by the Treasury Department last week.
“The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government.”
He added, “We are also targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities, which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people.”
Treasury noted that designating Larijani is significant because of his oversight in calling for the execution of individuals that were juveniles at the time of their crime and his approving the torture of inmates and cruel treatments including amputating prisoners. Treasury’s decision to designate Rajaee Shahr Prison was over their denial of adequate medical care, and legal representation, to Iranian nationals. They noted that many Iranians who have been involved in the recent, and ongoing, protests against their government are imprisoned at Rajaee Shahr.
According to reports from within the country, Iranian officials have arrested at least 8,000 protesters so far.