The U.S. State Department announced on Thursday that as of now Trump administration has decided to extend sanctions relief for Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) but the deadline for United States President Donald Trump's decision is mid-October.
"Waving some of those sanctions should not be seen as an indication of President Trump or his administration's position on the JCPOA nor is the waver giving the Iranian regime a pass on its broad range malign behaviour. Again, no decisions have been made on the final JCPOA. We still have some time for that," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a briefing on Thursday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in London that President Trump "has made clear to those of us who are helping him develop this policy that we must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just Iran's nuclear capabilities," Sputnik reported.
Meanwhile, Trump's administration is doubtful of Iran meeting expectations of the JCPOA and Tillerson stressed that danger posed by Iran must be viewed not only from the point of nuclear threats but also its cyber activity and ballistic missile program must be taken into account.
On Thursday, the U.S .Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed new non-nuclear sanctions against seven Iranian individuals for allegedly participating in cyberattacks against the US and two entities related to the country's missile program.
Tillerson repeatedly emphasised the US decision of whether to end the agreement signed in 2015 will be based on a wider assessment of Iranian behaviour - including in Yemen and Syria - and not just whether Tehran is complying with the strict terms of the deal.
President Donald Trump questions Iran's compliance with the JCPOA. During his presidential campaign Trump threatened to end the agreement calling it the worst deal ever negotiated.
However, International Atomic Energy Agency experts say that Iran fully abides by obligations under the nuclear deal. If Trump abandons the deal without clear evidence of Iran noncompliance with the agreement it may trigger the revival of Iran's nuclear activity which in turn could lead to escalating tensions in the Middle East.
On July 14, 2015, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, collectively referred to as the P5+1 group, signed the JCPOA with Iran on the latter's nuclear program. The deal pre-supposes a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions as long as Iran takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program. The US government has to waive sanctions for periods up to 120 days if Iran proves its compliance. Trump's administration has renewed the waivers for the first time on May 17.
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