U.S. prolongs sanctions against Iran

Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin NetanyahuReuters

Trump cited Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support for the deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a reason for the top diplomat's surprise sacking Tuesday.

Trump has said that he will allow for the reimposition of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran upon a mid-May waiver deadline unless Europe agrees to some form of renegotiation. He cautioned if the U.S. breaks the deal, they will need to find some other way to deal with that issue. Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. The president wants European allies to join him in demanding an end to Iran's ballistic-missile testing, which are not addressed by the nuclear deal; unrestricted access for United Nations nuclear inspectors to Iran's military sites, which have previously hosted nuclear weapons experimentation; and permanent caps on Iran's enrichment of fissile material, which in the current deal sunset within 10 to 15 years.

FILE - Sedjeel, an Iranian made ballistic missile, is showcased during an annual military parade in Tehran, Iran, Sept, 22, 2013.

Trump has frequently railed against the agreement, which he called the "worst deal ever negotiated". "However, my understanding is he doesn't want the deal to disappear", said a former senior USA official.

Many of Trump's top national security aides, like Tillerson, have argued that the United States is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it.

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As president, Trump bristled when faced with a US law that required him to regularly certify to Congress whether Iran was complying with the deal and whether the agreement was in America's interest.

Other European officials and former USA officials said Pompeo's rise, if he is confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate, might have a more ambiguous effect on the negotiations and that, in any case, Trump's views are paramount.

The head of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversees American forces in the Middle East, warned lawmakers on Tuesday about the consequences of the agreement unraveling.

The Iran nuclear deal was agreed to during the Obama administration.

"If Pompeo is that hawkish, then in reality all it is is the affirmation of Trump's policies". "Hopefully, he'll have the mandate that Tillerson didn't have".

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