US Expected to Extend Iran Nuclear Sanctions Waivers
The Trump Administration will reportedly announce the renewal of sanctions waivers this week allowing foreign firms to work on Iran’s civil nuclear program, the Washington Post reported, citing anonymous administration officials. At a White House meeting last week US President Donald Trump reportedly backed a recommendation by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to extend the waivers despite objections from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. The multilateral 2015 nuclear deal delineated that Russia, China and several European countries maintain several Iranian nuclear sites and convert equipment for exclusively civilian use. Some sites included in the waiver extensions are the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Fordow enrichment facility and the Arak nuclear complex. The White House withdrew from the nuclear agreement last year, which lifted economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Washington has since re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, which have crippled the Iranian economy and heightened tensions between the two. In response, Iran has surpassed the deal’s limits on uranium stockpiles and announced plans to enrich uranium beyond levels permitted under the pact.