United States extends Iran nuclear deal sanctions relief, imposes new ballistic missile sanctions

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The notification of the retention of the waivers follows an April finding by Washington that Iran is complying with its side of the November 2015 nuclear deal - described by Donald Trump as "the worst deal ever" during his election campaign past year - which eased sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for a curbing of activities which the major powers claimed could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

The designation of the seven Iranian and Chinese people and companies blocks any assets they might have in the United States and bars Americans and non-Americans from doing business with them, at the risk of being blacklisted by the United States.

However, the White House stopped short of failing to renew the waivers on more widespread sanctions, which are not permanent and were due to expire this week.

Ghasemi has said Iran would retaliate by adding nine United States individuals and companies to its own sanctions list, accusing them of "clear violations of human rights" in relation to their support for Israel or "terrorist groups" in the Middle East.

The US administration is re-evaluating its relationship with Iran, including whether to remain a party to the nuclear deal.

Under these sanctions, tucked into Section 1245 of the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act, the U.S. threatened to sanction the banks of Iran's main oil customers if they did not significantly reduce their purchases of Iranian crude.

Separately, however, Washington also extended wider sanctions relief for Iran called for under the nuclear accord.

Under the law, these sanctions can be waived for a maximum of 120 days.

Sherman said that Obama negotiators understood that the deal would only survive the next administration if the president believed the deal to be in the country's national security interest, and she argued that the deal's safeguards ensure that it is.

While he was running for office Trump vowed to renegotiate or tear up the nuclear deal. Worldwide sanctions will not "snap back", as President Obama said they would if Iran cheated.

Trump has described the landmark agreement as the "worst deal ever", saying he would "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran". "Iran would have no impediment to restarting its nuclear program".

But it balanced the decision with new measures against Iranian defense officials and a Chinese business linked to Iran's ballistic missile program. While Rouhani will be able to point to the Trump administration's granting of continued sanctions relief as a victory of the nuclear deal that was achieved on his watch, such grandstanding may have lost the effect that it once had. He has pledged to triple government subsidies, now $12 a month for the poorest Iranians.

In return, Iran has pledged to restrict its nuclear activities, reducing its uranium enrichment, plutonium production plans, and allowing inspectors access to facilities. His re-election would be welcomed by Europeans who desire more business dealings with Tehran and who likely would resist or ignore any US efforts to slap nuclear sanctions back on Iran.

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