Sanctions Waiver

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The Biden administration recently restored some sanctions relief to Iran’s atomic program as talks aimed at recovering the languishing 2015 nuclear deal enter a critical phase. The move reverses the Trump administration’s decision to rescind them. The waivers are intended to entice Iran to return to compliance with the 2015 deal that it has been violating since former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed US sanctions. While Iran has demanded the restoration of all sanctions relief it was promised under the deal to return to compliance. Nevertheless, the US  intend waiver with respect to these activities is designed to facilitate discussions that would help to close a deal on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the groundwork for Iran’s return to the performance of its JCPOA commitments. The waivers permit foreign countries and companies to work on civilian projects at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station, its Arak heavy water plant, and the Tehran Research Reactor.  Iran claims that The US action came as talks to restore a 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers over its nuclear program reached an advanced stage, with the issue of sanctions relief a major issue. The waiver allows other countries and companies to participate in Iran’s civilian nuclear program without triggering US sanctions on them, in the name of promoting safety and nonproliferation.  However, this appears to be the first step that signals a shift away from the Trump doctrine of aggression towards Iran and indicates a return to the Obama policy of negotiation with the Iranian administration.

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