US to renew nuclear sanctions waivers for Iran: report

TEHRAN, Jul. 31 (MNA) – The United States is set to announce this week it will renew sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs, according to a report.

The waivers will allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump, in an Oval Office meeting last week, sided with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who argued for renewing the waivers over objections by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the Post said.

Mnuchin “argued to Trump that if the sanctions were not again waived as required by law by Aug. 1, the United States would have to sanction Russian, Chinese and European firms that are involved in projects inside Iran that were established as part of the 2015 nuclear deal,” the report said, citing six unnamed officials.

Pompeo in May extended five of seven sanctions waivers for 90 days. The waivers allow work at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, the Fordow enrichment facility, the Arak nuclear complex and the Tehran Research Reactor, according to the report.

“These waivers can be revoked at any time, as developments with Iran warrant. But because of the Treasury Department’s legitimate concerns, we’ve decided to extend them for now,” the official said, according to the Post.

The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany -- in Vienna in 2015.

However, the US withdrew from the deal last May and re-imposed economic sanctions against Iran. Europe too has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement ever since under Washington’s pressure, refusing to secure Iran’s economic interests under the agreement.

In reaction, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal to ‘balance’ the level of commitments from all sides. However, all the retaliatory measures would be reversed if the other parties to the agreement live up to their contractual obligations, according to President Rouhani.

MNA/PR

News Code 148282

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