Trump signs waiver to uphold the Iran deal for 120 more days as officials insist this is 'the last time'
President Trump has again signed a waiver to uphold the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, setting a deadline of 120 days for European partners to overhaul the pact or else the U.S. will reimpose deal-breaking sanctions, The New York Times reports. Trump has dubbed the agreement with Iran "the worst deal ever," and is reportedly pressuring EU signatories to make uranium enrichment restrictions on Iran permanent, rather than allow them to expire in 2025, the BBC reports. The new deal insisted on by Trump would also need to allow for the inspection of Iranian facilities, with sanctions to be reimposed if Iran refused, and have an amendment added classifying Iran's long-ranging missile program as "inseparable" from its nuclear program, Al Arabiya reports.
"This is the last time [Trump will] issue waivers [on sanctions] unless they reach an agreement," said top White House officials. Trump called it the "last chance" and added "no one should doubt my word. I said I would not certify the nuclear deal — and I did not. I will also follow through on this pledge."
As Trump has been threatening to withdraw from the deal since his candidacy, Iran's vice president Eshagh Jahangiri responded to the news by saying: "If the Americans withdraw from the nuclear deal, we will not hold a mourning service; we are fully prepared for any likely event." Regional experts warn that if the U.S. was to truly withdraw, it would "play into the hands of hard-liners in the country," the Times writes.
So far, Europe has showed no sign of taking Trump up on renegotiating a deal. "The Iran nuclear deal makes the world safer," said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday. "European partners were unanimous today in our determination to preserve the deal and tackle Iran's disruptive behavior."