United States sanctions Iran over missiles, despite nukes compliance

Posted July 19, 2017

While the USA complained about Iran's defiance of the spirit of the nuclear accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would make his own complaints about U.S. non-compliance when representatives of the five nuclear powers - China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States - plus Germany meet in Vienna on Friday to take stock of the deal. The United States must certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days.

Spicer explained Trump recertified the deal "because he had the luxury of having an entire team here, both from State [Department], DOD, [National Security Council], to review it." .

Behind the scenes, advisers argued that there was no alternative but to recertify the deal for now because the past sanctions regime the United States had with European allies against Iran is no longer in place and unilateral sanctions are not as effective as multi-lateral ones.

At the same time, the U.S. treasury department said it was targeting 16 entities and individuals for supporting what is said was "illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity".

"The US will continue to use sanctions to target those who lend support to Iran's destabilising behavior and above all, the US will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon", the spokesperson said.

"Never, ever, ever, in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran", Trump said September 9, 2015, during a Tea Party rally.

Finally, even if Trump decides to keep re-certifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, the Iranians have started hinting that they consider the non-nuclear sanctions imposed by the U.S.to be violations of the agreement.

"That's very clear in black and white in the report of the IAEA, which is hardly a sympathizer of Iran", Zarif said.

It's best not to take anything Zarif says at face value. In any case, neither Tillerson nor anyone else in the administration seems seriously to believe in the Iran deal's merits and utility.

Trump vowed to dismantle the historic agreement while he was a candidate, but he's given himself more time to determine whether to follow through on that pledge.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed the Islamic Republic's compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the USA, have failed to live up to their undertakings.

The administration had faced a midnight deadline to say whether Iran was complying.

On June 15, the US Senate passed a bill targeting Russian Federation and Iran with new sanctions.

But the day came and went with no such announcement, although officials said they expected more sanctions would eventually be coming.

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said this to CNN on Sunday.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran, which denied it was developing nuclear weapons, agreed to sharply limit the number and capability of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, give up almost all of its previously enriched stock, and submit to intrusive verification measures in exchange for an end to USA and global sanctions related to the program.

Most of the cabinet, however, recognizes what a bad idea this is, and how big of an global backlash the United States would face in withdrawing from the hard-negotiated nuclear deal.