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EU extends sanctions on Iran over human rights, hopes to keep nuclear deal

The EU extended on Thursday the only remaining sanctions it has against Tehran, related to human rights violations, by a year until April 2019, Reuters said. The sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans against 82 people and one entity, as well as a prohibition of exports of equipment that “could be used for internal repression and monitoring telecommunications.” The UN said in March that Iran “had arrested activists and political opponents in a clampdown on freedom of expression.” The EU is preparing for a clash over whether to impose a new set of penalties in the hope of safeguarding a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran. US President Donald Trump has given a May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord. Otherwise, he threatened not to extend US sanctions relief on Iran related to the agreement.