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Trump agrees to stay in Iran nuclear deal but approves new sanctions

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (KUNA) -- US President Donald Trump has agreed not to scrap the Iran nuclear deal on Friday but issued 14 new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities, senior US administration officials announced.
Following the advice of his national security advisers and European allies, Trump will renew the temporary waiver certifying that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement. However, the Treasury Department is issuing a new set of sanctions targeting those in Iran involved in human rights abuses, media censorship in Iran and support for weapons proliferation.
"The designations today politically will go to the top of the regime and will send a very strong message the US is not going to tolerate their continued violations of the rights of their citizens," said a senior administration speaking on background.
Trump intends to work with his European partners for a follow-on amendment to the JCPOA that "enshrines certain triffers that the Iranian regime cannot exceed" related to its nuclear program, and which never expires, the senior administration official told reporters.
The announcement represents the "next steps in (US) engagement with Iran," his administration said. This is the third time he has agreed to stay in the JCPOA, brokered by President Barack Obama, despite having criticised it as "the worst deal ever" and threatening repeatedly to rip it up. (end) hy.bs