WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday restored sanctions waivers to Iran to allow international nuclear cooperation projects, as indirect American-Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran enter the final stretch.
The waivers had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out non-proliferation work to effectively make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development. The waivers were rescinded by the United States in 2019 and 2020 under former President Donald Trump, who pulled out of the nuclear agreement.
The indirect talks are aimed at having the United States return to the agreement and Iran resume compliance. The agreement was reached under former President Barack Obama, and Biden has pledged to try to bring the United States back to it.
The State Department has sent a report signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Congress explaining that restoring the waivers will help the talks in Vienna on returning to the deal reached between Iran and a group of countries including China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States. The agreement is formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The 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,” according to the report, a copy of which seen by Reuters.