Trump issues ultimatum to fix Iran nuclear deal

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The sanctions, when they are in place, target third parties overseas that deal with Iran and have the effect - because of the reach of the US dollar - of severely inhibiting trade with Iran.

The Trump administration has accused Iran of fomenting instability and violence across the Mideast, and the president's decision gives the White House and Congress more time to forge legislation punishing the country for that behavior without directly ending the nuclear accord that Iran reached with the US and five other world powers.

"Today, US President Trump is in a state of desperation in the face of the JCPOA and Iran's missile activities and can not convince his European partners to go with his illusions", the Iranian lawmaker said.

One official said the actions "will send a very strong message that the United States is not going to tolerate their continued abuses". Top Republican Senator Marco Rubio said the "deeply flawed Obama Iran deal" should not be a grant of immunity to Iran from sanctions related to non-nuclear activities.

Trump has always been critical about the pact inked between the six world powers, namely China, Russia, Britain, France, the United States and Germany, and Iran in 2015, in which the West promises to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Also on Friday, the United States imposed separate sanctions against 14 Iranian individuals and entities it accuses of rights abuses, censorship and support for weapons proliferators.

President Trump spent a lot of time on the campaign trail and his first year in office railing against the Iran deal that the US and several European countries signed with the Middle East nation in 2015.

Iran's Foreign Ministry, sending a strong message to the USA, has named those, whom they consider to be behind the attempt to undermine the deal, which took years and great diplomatic efforts to reach.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) notes that Iran's Central Bank was not included on the list of sanctions; had the bank been sanctioned it would have been a major blow to the Iranian regime.

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Trump said this would be the last time he issues a waiver to maintain the accord, and he bluntly put the onus on European nations to agree to changes.

Under U.S. law, U.S. businesses may not deal with Iran.

Currently, the deal has a sunset clause after which, even President Barack Obama acknowledged, Iran would have a breakout time for producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon of about zero.

President Donald Trump Friday said he was open to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation regarding Iran, but any bill he signs must include "four critical components", indicating this was the "last chance" for the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran to be fixed.

The new sanctions announced Friday focus on Iranian entities involved in the crackdown on recent protests in Iran. Should Trump fail to issue future waivers, European entities and businesses will bear the brunt of secondary sanctions, creating a potential crisis in US-EU relations, in addition to whatever actions Tehran might take in response.

This would involve negotiations between the United States and its European allies rather than talks with Iran, the official said.

French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the importance of abiding by the deal "in order to guarantee better stability in the Middle East", according to a readout of his telephone conversation with Trump on Thursday. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said he expects President Trump to impose sanctions on Iran.

"Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

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