On January 12th, US President Trump announced his resolution to waive sanctions on Iran as required by the JCPOA, informally known as the Iran nuclear deal. Trump said, however, that it would be the last time he signs the waiver unless the deal is modified. He said that he wanted to give the United States and European allies a final chance to amend the pact. Washington also imposed sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump has criticized the nuclear deal since his election campaign. This stance comes in spite of EU support for the agreement and repeated confirmation of the bloc’s commitment to it. The ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.
Trump refused to re-certify the nuclear deal in late October 2017, accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement. However, Trump did not to contest Tehran’s compliance with the deal at the international level.
While other JCPOA signatories have called on the United States to comply with the agreement’s provisions, saying that the deal had yielded results and was non-negotiable, Trump signaled a possible withdrawal from the deal if the agreement was not improved. The other signatories of in 2015 agreement are the European Union, Iran and P5+1 countries — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany.
The JCPOA aimed to gradually lift economic and diplomatic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran ending its nuclear program.