President Donald Trump extended sanctions relief to Iran on Friday, keeping the United States in the Iran nuclear accord for another few months.
White House officials told CNBC that it will be the last time Trump waives sanctions against a country he sees as a rising threat. Trump has previously called the nuclear deal, which relieves U.S. and international sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into." The deal was negotiated by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Congress requires that Trump periodically certify Iran's compliance with the deal in order to continue waiving U.S. sanctions. Trump has accused Iran of not holding up its end of the deal, despite assurances from monitoring agencies that the country is, indeed, in compliance. Now, administration officials say the president wants to strengthen the deal and change U.S. sanctions law to basically auto-renew waivers for Iran that would only be terminated in the event Iran violated a "trigger point."
As Trump approved the waiver, the Department of the Treasury imposed a package of new sanctions against 14 Iranian individuals and entities for human rights abuses.