The next deadline for reinstating the sanctions against Iran is in May, and the official says Trump will do so and remove the United States from the nuclear deal at that time unless European allies agree to changes to the deal meant to permanently stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. The Treasury Department also designated two Iranian defense industry firms that provide key maintenance and overhaul services for the military's helicopter and aircraft.
U.S. allies including the United Kingdom and France have repeatedly defended the agreement and said Iran continues to comply with the accord and they, too, intend to do so. "Second, it must ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon".
He also approved targeted sanctions against several Iranian government officials for corruption and human rights abuses, some related to anti-government protests that have convulsed Iranian cities this month, the sources said.
In particular, placing judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani on the sanctions list "crossed all red lines of conduct in the global community... and the government of the United States will bear responsibility for all the consequences of this hostile move".
It did not specify what any retaliation might involve. In November, the body again said Iran was in compliance. But it has said it would "shred" the deal if Washington quit. Should Trump fail to issue future waivers, European entities and businesses will bear the brunt of secondary sanctions, creating a potential crisis in US-EU relations, in addition to whatever actions Tehran might take in response.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow has a "very negative stance" on the decisions and comments made by Trump about Iran, according to state news agency Sputnik. "It's going to be complicated to save the deal after this", said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Bhala, the Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, said the announcement is important in that "it preserves the July 2015 Nuclear Deal, for now, which the other countries in the deal also support".
If Trump's fixes aren't met within 120 days, the White House signaled that the deal would be nixed altogether.
Iran will counter a possible US move to scrap the 2015 nuclear deal with rapid response that could surprise the Americans, a senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official warned Wednesday. Those changes include adding "triggers", such as inspections of Iranian facilities, and removing "sunset clauses" that allow Iran to enrich uranium and more.
However, Trump, who has previously vowed to scrap the nuclear pact, was privately expressing reluctance to heed the advisers, the officials said.
In Parsi's view, this could prompt Iran to pull out of the deal first.
His number one goal is always to protect the American people, Trump has explained, which is why he ordered a review of the Iranian landmark policy that was forged in 2015 under his predecessor.