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January 10, 2018 3:26 pm

US Official: Trump Reluctant to Waive Iran Sanctions, as Friday Deadline Approaches

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters/ Kevin Lamarque.

US President Donald Trump is being urged by some top advisers to waive sanctions on Iran by a Friday deadline, but privately he is expressing reluctance to do so, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

Trump faces deadlines related to the deal starting late this week, including deciding whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement that constrained Iran’s nuclear program.

Trump will seek to make a final decision on whether to waive the sanctions during a meeting with national security aides on Thursday, a senior administration official told Reuters.

The official told Reuters that Trump’s top advisers were recommending that he extend Iran relief from sanctions.

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If he did so, the official said, the move would likely be accompanied by new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people.

Another US official said Trump was expected by some officials to renew the sanctions waivers but stressed that no final decision had been made.

Trump has privately gnashed his teeth at having to waive the sanctions again, believing his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama, negotiated a bad deal for the United States in agreeing to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The official said a decision not to waive the sanctions would leave the United States in violation of the agreement.

“You either waive the sanctions or you don’t and if you don’t you’re in breach of the JCPOA,” the official said.

Trump and his top advisers have been negotiating with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to try to change sanctions legislation so that he does not face a deadline on whether to waive the sanctions every 90 days.

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