AUGUSTA, Maine (Reuters) – A new US administration will ease economic sanctions on Iran as it moves toward normalization of relations with the Islamic Republic, a top White House official said on Friday, adding to pressure on Tehran to show its willingness to negotiate a political solution.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, said he had decided to lift economic sanctions that were imposed by President Barack Obama in retaliation for Tehran’s nuclear program.
Trump’s comments followed the announcement by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence that the U.N. Security Council will impose sanctions on Tehran once Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
“This is a historic day,” Pence said.
“This is the day that Iran will finally have an economic lifeline, and once they get that, we’re going to put an end to their economic isolation, which is a hallmark of the Iranian regime.”
Iran will never again have to worry about their nuclear weapons,” he said.
Trump’s administration has made a number of concessions to Tehran over the years in exchange for lifting sanctions.
In return, Tehran has agreed to limit its uranium enrichment program in exchange with Washington.
The United States has long accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program that could threaten regional and global security.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and the United States accuses Tehran of seeking to develop atomic weapons.
Trump has said the U and other Western powers should “put an end” to sanctions that target Iran.