Although oil sales have rebounded since the deal came into effect in January past year, Iran's continued exclusion from the global banking system has prevented it from signing much-needed trade and investment deals with Europe and Asia.
Iran criticised a fresh round of USA sanctions imposed on its missile programme on Thursday, warning they would undermine the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
One senior Trump administration official working on the Iran portfolio told the Washington Free Beacon that the new sanctions are part of a larger effort to "hold Tehran accountable" for its nefarious activities that threaten regional peace.
The US brands Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism".
Donald Trump's White House has renewed sanctions relief for Iran, despite the United States president's past criticism.
Despite these actions and President Donald Trump's campaign trail claims, the administration will continue to pursue former President Obama's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Deal.
According to Reuters, some of the waivers were set to expire this week unless they were extended by the commander in chief.
The deal is also controversial inside the Trump administration, with some officials pushing for the United States to walk away from the agreement and others urging more restraint.
China said today that it had lodged a complaint with the United States after Washington imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile programme. This could in turn limit the growth of North Korean missile capabilities while providing new reassurance to Iran's other adversaries, including Saudi Arabia. "And they were also at the table and they still support the deal". The State Department also released a new report criticizing Iran for human rights abuses, including the alleged mistreatment of prisoners.
Also designated for sanctions was Chinese national Ruan Runling, who the Office of Foreign Assets Control said has "provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of Iran's Shiraz Electronics Industries".
He said Iran would retaliate by adding nine U.S. 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. But so far, the administration has not taken steps to exit the agreement - a move which would upset key European allies with whom the deal was negotiated.
Iran's presidential election is on Friday, the election in which incumbent President Hassan Rouhani will be running for a second term against challengers who say he has not delivered economic recovery as he promised with the nuclear pact.