The Trump administration Thursday extended sanctions relief for Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear deal despite campaign pledges to end the agreement.
The sanctions extensions, first issued by the Obama administration, were also accompanied by penalties against 11 Iranian individuals and companies involved in the country’s ballistic missile program and cyberattacks against the U.S.
In comments to reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday, Trump repeated his campaign position that the deal is bad and Iran is violating it.
“The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Not a fair deal to this country. It’s a deal that should have never ever been made. You’ll see what we’re doing. … It’s going to be in October. We are not going to stand for what they are doing to this country. They have violated so many elements but they have also violated the spirit of that deal.”
Next month, the Trump administration must inform Congress whether or not it believes Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement. The administration has hinted it may kick the decision over to Congress to come up with a broader strategy on dealing with Iran’s behavior.
“The administration did approve waivers in order to maintain some flexibility as we consult on Capitol Hill and among allies and partners to address the flaws in the JCPOA [the nuclear deal], and additional time to develop our policy to address the full range of Iranian malign behavior,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Nauert added that the move “should not be seen as an indication of President Trump or his administration’s position on the [nuclear deal], nor is the waiver giving the Iranian regime a pass on its broad range of malign behavior.”