China says Iran nuclear deal not derailed, pledges constructive role

US President Donald Trump                  REUTERS  Carlos Barria

US President Donald Trump REUTERS Carlos Barria

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal was struck between the United States, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Iran and five other countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will extend sanctions relief on Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal for the last time, threatening a U.S. withdrawal from the landmark pact unless U.S. Congress and European allies can fix the alleged "disastrous flaws".

And while Trump approved a sanctions waiver, he also made a decision to impose new, targeted sanctions on Iran, the person said.

The Islamic Republic's foreign ministry said in a statement that it would not "move beyond its commitments" to the existing agreement, to which Trump has extended the U.S. commitment for another 120 days, Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Saturday.

Trump said this is the last chance, and in the absence of an agreement, the U.S. would not remain a party to the deal.

Trump says the deal has flaws.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) notes that Iran's Central Bank was not included on the list of sanctions; had the bank been sanctioned it would have been a major blow to the Iranian regime. The move will keep the nuclear deal in place but add sanctions on Iranian businesses and leaders who have supported terrorist groups. The administration accuses Larijani of being responsible for the violent crackdown on dissidents in Iran during recent protests.

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The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, lifted worldwide sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program.

After Tehran had implemented its part of the deal, which was confirmed during IAEA's inspection trips, on January 16, 2016 the US administration under President Barack Obama lifted sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

He is demanding Iran allow immediate inspections at nuclear sites on request, and that so-called "sunset clauses", which see the restrictions on nuclear development relax after ten years, be removed.

He also said the deal was key to maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East and that it was China's "consistent and clear-cut position" to oppose unilateral sanctions. The United States has also demanded that America's European allies ensure the Islamic Republic never comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon.

"Then we achieve a permanent bar on Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon or a long-range ballistic missile".

Iran says its nuclear program has only peaceful aims and says it will stick to the accord as long as others respect it.

The statement also hit out at new sanctions imposed on 14 individuals by the US Treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

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