US President Donald Trump openly despises the deal- a central foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama- but has so far continued to waive the nuclear-related sanctions at regular intervals as required to stay in compliance.
Trump demanded a follow-on agreement with European partners as well as an amendment to U.S. law linked to the Iran nuclear deal, senior administration officials said on Friday. Trump is hoping to fix the sunset clause in the deal, which removes restrictions on Iran's nuclear programs by the end of 10 years, as well as make clear that Iran's nuclear and missile programs are "inseparable" and in need of restrictions.
"If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume", the president's statement said.
US President Donald Trump will approve the Iran nuclear deal only one more time before abandoning it if it is not changed, White House officials say. European co-signatories to the deal criticized Trump's decision not to re-certify the Iran deal at the time and may be unwilling to work with the administration.
The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was reached in 2015 among Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) plus Germany and the European Union.
"In what we heard Friday, I don't see any invitation for Iran to enter dialogue", he said.
But the Trump administration indicated on Friday that it was losing patience with Iran. But Trump said that if European allies did not renegotiate the deal to his liking during that period, he would terminate it.
Trump said he wanted Congress to pass a bill requiring "timely, sufficient, and immediate inspections" at all sites by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the indefinite extension of limits on Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities. Or it could keep its end of the bargain and continue doing business with other countries in the deal - France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - and isolate the U.S. The move will keep the nuclear deal in place but add sanctions on Iranian businesses and leaders who have supported terrorist groups. The follow-on agreement that Trump wants would include "triggers" that would automatically re-impose sanctions should Iran break certain thresholds regarding its ballistic missile program, nuclear breakout, and inspections and would eliminate the sunset clauses now in the agreement.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was a "desperate attempt" to undermine a "solid" deal. The announcement was made alongside sanctions being made against 14 Iranian individuals and countries.
While Trump will continue that suspension, he is preparing to impose penalties on Iranian entities for other behavior the US finds objectionable, such as missile testing and alleged human rights violations.
"If it means in May the new certification of Iran's complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will not happen - which is how we read yesterday's signals [from Washington] - then here we clearly see a classical ultimatum from the USA side", he said.