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Iran unrest could complicate Trump decision on sanctions waivers

US President Donald Trump has voiced his support for Iran's protests, but the unrest could further complicate his decision on whether to waive nuclear sanctions next month.
TOPSHOT - An Iranian woman raises her fist amid the smoke of tear gas at the University of Tehran during a protest driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Students protested in a third day of demonstrations sparked by anger over Iran's economic problems, videos on social media showed, but were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. / AFP PHOTO / STR        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump and members of his administration today continued to voice support for peaceful protesters in Iran and warned Iranian authorities not to crack down on the fourth day of demonstrations that have erupted in cities large and small around the country. Trump’s latest expression of support for the Iranian demonstrations came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in his first comments on the protests, made during a Cabinet session and aired on Iranian TV, said he would work with parliament to address economic grievances of the population. 

But the signs of Iranian unrest are likely to further complicate White House calculations as Trump decides whether to waive nuclear-related US economic sanctions in mid-January, which the United States is obliged to do if it intends to remain in compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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