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President Donald Trump has announced that he will approve certain sanctions waivers necessary in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). In an official statement, the President indicated that this is the last such waiver he will issue and warned that “the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”

President Trump called on Congress to enact legislation addressing Iran and stated that the legislation should include the following critical components:

  • The legislation must require Iran to allow immediate inspections by international inspectors at all nuclear sites.
  • The legislation must “ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon”.
  • The legislation “must have no expiration date.” President Trump stated that “My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon – not just for ten years, but forever.”
  • The legislation must subject Iran’s long-range missile program to the same sanctions imposed on its nuclear weapons program.

The President also expressed his expectation that the JCPOA member countries will execute a new supplemental JCPOA agreement which will impose additional sanctions against Iran if Iran develops or tests long-range missiles, fails to comply with inspections requirements or makes progress towards developing a nuclear weapon. President Trump expects that this supplemental JCPOA agreement to impose its restrictions permanently in the same manner as his requested legislation.

The waivers issued today will avoid a termination of the JCPOA by preventing automatic reinstatement of various secondary sanctions against Iran for at least another 120 days. However, the President reserved the right to abandon the JCPOA on a more expedited basis, stating that he would withdraw the JCPOA immediately if at any time he determines that his desired supplemental agreement “is not within reach.”

White House officials also announced that they will be adding additional sanctions to Iran under existing carve-outs provided in the JCPOA that will focus on Iran’s human-rights violations, its support for terrorism, and its continued ballistic-missile tests. The new sanctions are intended to address human rights abuses and censorship in Iran and designate 14 Iranian individuals and entities as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”), including the head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadeq Larijani.

We will continue to monitor developments with regard to Iran sanctions and any further actions taken by the President and Congress. Should you have any questions related to the JCPOA or other economic sanctions related matters, please contact Cortney Morgan, Grant Leach or Linda Tiller.