Iran nuclear deal not 'derailed', will play constructive role: China

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"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the bad flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said.

"Trump's policy (and) today's announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement", Zarif tweeted shortly after Trump's statement. JCPOA is not renegotiable: "rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, USA must bring itself into full compliance-just like Iran", he wrote. These areas fall outside the scope of the nuclear deal. Under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025.

He also wanted to extend legislation to make explicit that testing of long-range missiles was "inseparable" from the nuclear weapons programme, so Iran's ballistics testing should also "be subject to severe sanctions".

Officials said the administration will discuss the changes it is seeking with Europeans but will not talk directly with Iran.

France, Britain, China and Russian Federation have called on the United States to maintain its commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal which is "a beneficial practice of solving a critical issue through political and diplomatic means".

The ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans - key backers and parties to the 2015 worldwide agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program - to satisfy Trump, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.

Also blacklisted were Iran's cyberspace agency, which administration officials said restricts its citizens' access to the internet; Iranian defense industry firms that fix and maintain helicopters and aircraft; a Malaysia-based company that allegedly supports Iranian naval missile production; and a Chinese businessman who allegedly supplied financing and equipment to Iran's electronics industry.

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Under the accord, Iran slowed its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of worldwide economic sanctions.

"So Trump now has issued explicit May deadline to Congress and Europeans: Fix Iran nuke deal or no more sanctions waivers", wrote Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The United States has failed to undermine the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement broadcast on state television. This follows previous practice, in which a reluctant president has kept the U.S.in the deal but sought other ways to get tough on Iran.

European allies had strongly urged the White House to stick with the nuclear deal, saying a decision to abandon it would strain the transatlantic partnership.

Some of the new sanctions announced by the Treasury Department are a response to crackdowns on anti-government protests and blocking access to social media sites.

The British and German foreign ministries said they had taken note of the decision and would confer with France before deciding on a course of action. He said he would only sign it if an Iranian refusal to allow United Nations inspectors to visit sites triggered an automatic re-imposition of US sanctions.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy", he said.

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