This post has been updated.
The United States will continue to waive nuclear sanctions as part of the multinational deal with Iran, the Trump administration announced Friday. Deadlines for the waiver renewals were this week, and allowing them to lapse would put the United States in violation of the deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “This is the last such waiver he will be able to do,” said a senior administration official. The next deadline for certifying Iranian compliance is in approximately 90 days.
The administration says it plans to pursue a “follow-on agreement” strictly with the European partners to the Iran deal that would strengthen the ability for sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program to resume if Iranian behavior so triggers it. “If the president can get an agreement that meets his objectives and that never expires…he would be open to remaining in such a modified deal,” a senior administration official said.
It’s not clear if formal negotiations with the Europeans on this follow-on agreement have begun or when they will begin.
The White House issued the following statement from the president:
Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.
Additionally, in response to recent protests across the south Asian country, the Treasury Department has announced it is sanctioning 14 non-nuclear entities in Iran, including a prison holding demonstrators and the brother of the speaker of the Iranian parliament.
“The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice. We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a statement. “We are also targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities, which it continues to prioritize over the economic well-being of the Iranian people.”
Among those sanctioned is Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran’s judiciary who has been identified as “responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran or Iranian citizens or residents.” He is also the brother of Ali Larijani, who as speaker is the highest ranking member of Iranian parliament.
“The designations today politically will go to the top of the regime and will send a very strong message that the United States is not going to tolerate their continued abuses and…violations of the rights of their citizens,” said a senior administration official.
The United States is also sanctioning Rajaee Shahr prison and its director, Gholamreza Ziaei; the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s electronic warfare and cyber defense division; the Supreme Council for Cyberspace and its National Cyberspace Center; Green Wave Telecommunication and its director Morteza Rezavi; and a handful of other companies of providing material support for the Iranian ballistic missile program.
This post originally appeared on Weekly Standard