WASHINGTON (AP) — US officials said Friday that President Donald Trump will extend waivers on Iran sanctions, keeping the landmark 2015 nuclear deal alive for at least another several months despite his past vows to scuttle the deal.
The waivers are being announced Friday. Three officials said the waivers will be accompanied by other, targeted sanctions on Iran and a stern warning that Trump will pull out of the deal negotiated by the Obama administration if fixes aren’t made by spring.
That’s when the next deadline comes for extending sanctions relief for Iran.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly preview the decision.
The officials say Trump’s waiver announcement will also include harsh criticism of Iran’s response to recent protests against the Islamic Republic’s leadership.
Under the accord, Iran slowed its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international economic sanctions. Trump is expected to decide by Friday whether to extend the sanctions relief or re-impose the restrictions his predecessor, President Barack Obama, suspended two years ago.
Officials from major world powers and Iran meet roughly every three to four months to assess implementation of the deal, which is monitored by the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The 2015 pact is underpinned on the US side by a presidential waiver of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran’s central bank.
The new targeted restrictions could hit some firms and individuals whose sanctions were previously scrapped. This might test Tehran’s willingness to abide by its side of the bargain.
The agreement does not stop countries from imposing non-nuclear related sanctions on Iran.