U.S. Renews Nuclear Sanctions Waivers

August 1, 2019

On July 31, the U.S. State Department renewed five sanctions waivers permitting foreign firms to work on Iran’s civil nuclear program without penalties. At the beginning of May, the State Department had extended the five waivers and revoked two others that had allowed Tehran to ship its excess heavy water and swap enriched uranium for natural uranium. The waivers, which were renewed for an additional 90 days, specifically permitted European, Russian, and Chinese companies to continue civil nuclear projects at Iranian nuclear facilities. These projects included the modification of a heavy-water reactor at the Arak nuclear complex, the conversion of an enrichment facility at the Fordow enrichment center, and fuel exchanges at the Bushehr nuclear plant and Tehran Research Reactor.   
 

If the waivers were not renewed by August 1, the United States would have been required to sanction the foreign firms. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the waivers would “preserve oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran’s ability to shorten its ‘breakout time’ to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites.”  
 

U.S. State Department Announcement 

State Department SealToday, Secretary Pompeo has continued restrictions on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program. The action today will help preserve oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran’s ability to shorten its “breakout time” to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes.

The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism continues to use its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security.  The United States is resolute in its commitment to denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon and to using the full range of our diplomatic and economic tools to constrain Iran’s nuclear activities.  As long as the Iranian regime continues to reject diplomacy and expand its nuclear program, the economic pressure and diplomatic isolation will intensify.