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U.S. expected to extend Iran sanctions relief under nuclear deal

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HANNAH MCKAY

"There is no nuclear activity or even research at the Islamic Republic of Iran's military sites which has been confirmed by the Agency [the International Atomic Energy Agency] in the past years", IRNA quoted the security chief as saying on Friday.

The US is behaving in "an unconstructive and excuse-seeking" way, pursuing access to Iranian military sites looking for a way to abandon its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, he said.

The sanctions waiver covers a maximum period of 120 days, meaning that the Trump administration must review the waiver every four months. "The US should stop using sanctions as a tool in its foreign policy, and engage in interaction with the world".

In a letter dated August 19 but released on August 23, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned about U.S. lack of adherence to the nuclear deal.

Despite media reports suggesting the Iranian foreign minister is set to meet American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session next week, his spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, said there was no such plan.

"Certainly at a minimum the spirit of the deal is atrociously kept". "We must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just Iran's nuclear capabilities".

Also, the US Treasury Department slapped new restrictions on 11 entities and individuals supporting Iran's ballistic missile program or its Quds Force, freezing their assets in the United States and prohibiting US citizens from doing business with them.

Trump's choice of words was nothing new. So far, he hasn't received any support for ripping up the agreement.

Although Trump may still ditch the agreement, it now seems more likely that he'll seek a less radical approach in pressuring Iran, a country he and many in his administration distrust deeply.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said the new sanctions unrelated to the nuclear deal will be imposed on the Sadid Caran Saba Engineering Company for allegedly proliferating activities related to Iran's ballistic missile program; the Khors Aircompany and Dart Airlines for providing material support to Caspian Airlines, which the United States accuses of helping the Iranian National Guard transport "personnel and illicit material, including weapons, from Iran to Syria;" and several individuals associated with Iranian computer security company ITSec Team for "denial of service attacks against at least nine large US financial institutions, including top USA banks and US stock exchanges".

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