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U.S. sanctions could seriously hurt the IRGC as it controls large swaths of Iran’s economy. The group’s foreign paramilitary and espionage wing, the Quds Force, is under U.S. sanctions, as is the Quds Force commander, other officials and associated individuals and entities.
Signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, the deal lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its disputed nuclear program.
Trump has called the accord “an embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever.”
European officials have categorically ruled out renegotiating the deal, but have said they share Trump’s concerns over Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East. China has said it hopes the deal will stay intact and Russia has warned that a U.S. withdrawal from the deal would have negative consequences.
The International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran secretly researched a nuclear warhead until 2009, which Tehran denies. Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and denies it has aimed to build an atomic bomb.
The threat of new action from Washington has prompted a public display of unity from the rival factions among Iran’s rulers. Iran will react sharply to any U.S. move against the nuclear deal with global powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Iranian parliament on Wednesday. [L8N1MM1MS]
CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday kept up a steady drumbeat of Trump administration criticism of Iran, saying Tehran is “mounting a ruthless drive to be the hegemonic power in the region.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was asked at a congressional hearing whether he thought staying in the deal was in the U.S. national security interest, he replied: “Yes, senator, I do.”
Reporting by Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay in Washington; additional reporting by Warren Strobel; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Grant McCool
Source : https://in.reuters.com/article/iran-nuclear-trump/trump-lays-out-new-iran-strategy-friday-complicating-european-ties-idINKBN1CH31V