Chess pieces are seen in front of displayed Iran’s and US flags in this illustration. Reuters
The US State Department is waiving sanctions on Iran's civilian nuclear programme in a technical step necessary to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, a senior official said on Friday.
The Biden administration restored some sanctions relief to Iran’s atomic plan as talks aimed at salvaging the languishing 2015 nuclear deal enter a critical phase.
The resumption of the waiver, ended by the Donald Trump administration in 2020, "would be essential to ensuring Iran's swift compliance" if a new deal on controlling Tehran's nuclear program can be reached in talks in Vienna, the State Department official said.
As US negotiators head back to Vienna for what could be a make-or-break session, Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed several sanctions waivers related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities. The move reverses the Trump administration’s decision to rescind them.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference. File photo
Iran says it is not respecting the terms of the deal because the US pulled out of it first. Iran has demanded the restoration of all sanctions relief it was promised under the deal to return to compliance.
The Trump administration had ended the so-called "civ-nuke” waivers in May 2020 as part of its "maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that began when Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2018, complaining that it was the worst diplomatic agreement ever negotiated and gave Iran a pathway to developing the bomb.
The waivers are ultimately intended to entice Iran back to the 2015 deal that it has been violating since former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions. In the short term, the waivers will exempt foreign countries and companies that work in Iran's civilian nuclear sector from American penalties.
"Absent this sanctions waiver, detailed technical discussions with third parties regarding disposition of stockpiles and other activities of nonproliferation value cannot take place," the official said, insisting on anonymity.
The step came as talks to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which then president Trump unilaterally withdrew from in 2018, were at an advanced stage.
The Treasury said lethal unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been used to attack US forces and international shipping in the Gulf region.
President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but he also held out hope that implicit US threats to use force will yield talks with the Islamic Republic as the Pentagon
Iran has decided to suspend some of its commitments under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with major powers abandoned by Washington last year, the foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.
Israeli authorities increased operations in the occupied West Bank. More than 50 Palestinians have been killed, including fighters and civilians, in operations and incidents in the West Bank since then.
The Centre also confirmed that it is following the situation around the clock and would continue brief the public on the latest developments, calling on the public, road users and motorists to exercise precautions when driving during rain, and to avoid nearing surface runoffs and pools of rainwater.
The Centre also confirmed that it is following the situation around the clock and would continue brief the public on the latest developments, calling on the public, road users and motorists to exercise precautions when driving during rain, and to avoid nearing surface runoffs and pools of rainwater. It also appealed to members of the society to follow the bulletins and reports issued by the NCM and not to circulate rumors.