Biden administration waives sanctions related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities

Friday’s Biden administration abandoned sanctions related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities and overturned the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw them.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has signed an exemption from some sanctions related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities. This exempts foreigners and businesses working in Iran’s private nuclear sector from US penalties.

The Wall Street Journal, The first report of the sanctions exemption on Friday was aimed at transforming Iran’s heavy water Arak reactor into a low-risk light water reactor, stating that it would also apply to the export of enriched uranium and heavy water outside Iran. rice field. The exemption also allows fuel to be sent to two reactors used for civilian purposes.

The move brings Iran back to the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), where the Biden administration has imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions. Because I want.

The Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018 before imposing strict sanctions on the country.

Former President Donald Trump has severely criticized the deal even before the presidential election began, calling it “a terrifying one-sided deal that should never have taken place.”

“The exemptions for these activities are designed to facilitate discussions that will help Iran close a deal on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the foundation for Iran to return to the fulfillment of JCPOA’s promises. “There is,” the State Department said. Notice to Congress announcing last week’s move.

“It is also designed to serve the interests of US non-proliferation and nuclear security and constrain Iran’s nuclear activities,” the ministry said. “This is issued as a matter of discretion of the policy with these objectives in mind, not in compliance with our commitments or as part of the Quid Proquare. We are all that Iran brings. We focus on working with our partners and allies to counter the threat. “

Friday’s decision follows last month’s eighth round of indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran with representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran in Vienna, the capital of Austria, regarding nuclear transactions. ..

The United States is indirectly participating in the negotiations because Iran has refused direct contact.

President Joe Biden signaled that he wanted to rejoin the deal, but until last week he had implemented all the Iranian sanctions it inherited from the Trump administration.

Critics of the nuclear deal argue that even if the Biden administration wants to return to the 2015 deal, it should at least demand Iran to make some concessions before it can provide sanctions in advance.

“From a negotiating point of view, they look desperate. They give up sanctions before making a deal. Say” yes “to anything. “Rich Goldberg, an opponent of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Vocal Deal, said.

Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (DN.J.) said that even if Iran returns to compliance with nuclear regulations in the 2015 agreement, Iran’s “dangerous and rapidly expanding nuclear program” “Sufficient material for nuclear weapons.”

“The deal that the United States and our partners are pursuing in Vienna seems to try to reverse technological advances on the surface, but knowledge acquisition can never be undone,” he said in a floor speech Wednesday. Said. “At this point, we must seriously ask,’What are you trying to save?’ “

Iran is currently concentrating uranium to a purity of 60%, 20-30% lower than the purity required to manufacture weapons, but denies the need for nuclear weapons.

Epoch Times Photo
Iran’s Head of Nuclear Negotiations Ali Bergery Kani and members of the Iranian delegation are waiting for the start of the JCPOA Joint Committee meeting in Vienna, Austria, on November 29, 2021.
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran
Workers can be seen at the construction site of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran on November 10, 2019. (Atta Kenare / AFP via Getty Images)

Negotiations are underway in Vienna as part of an effort to bring both the United States and Iran back to the 2015 agreement, and the latest moves are believed to help move the negotiations forward.

State Department spokesman Edward Price swiftly defended the exemption from sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, saying the move was not intended to provide relief.

Price also emphasized that the United States will not provide Tehran with sanctions relief before returning to its promises under the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We did not provide sanctions relief to Iran, and will not do so until / unless Tehran returns to its promise under JCPOA,” Price said. I wrote it on Twitter.

“We have done exactly what the previous administration did. We will allow international partners to address the increasing nuclear non-proliferation and security risks in Iran,” Price said. rice field.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdrahian said on February 5 that the U.S. move was “not enough” and Washington should provide political and economic guarantees for the resurgence of the 2015 nuclear deal. ..

“The lifting of some sanctions can lead to good faith in itself,” said Amir Abdrahian. Iran’s state media.

“It’s good that it’s written on paper, but that’s not enough,” he added. “We demand guarantees in the political, legal and economic arena. We have already reached a certain agreement,” he added.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saturday Twitter post He said that “Iran’s legal right to continue research and development” and “maintaining peaceful nuclear capabilities and outcomes with security against supported evil” cannot be restricted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.