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Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign on Iran faces key test

Posted at 5:59 AM, Jul 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-27 08:59:57-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is at a crossroads.

His administration is trying to decide whether to risk stoking tensions even more by ending one of the last remaining components of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The administration faces a Thursday deadline to decide whether to extend or cancel sanctions waivers to foreign companies working on Iran’s civilian nuclear program as permitted under the deal.

Ending the waivers is a move favored by Trump’s allies in Congress who endorse a tough approach to Iran. But it also would escalate tensions with Iran and with some European allies.

Two officials say a divided administration is likely to keep the waivers afloat with temporary extensions. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.