US renews Iran sanctions waivers for civilian nuclear work

US renews five of seven sanctions waivers allowing Russia and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran.

Elad Benari, Canada,

A general view of the Arak heavy-water project
A general view of the Arak heavy-water project

The Trump administration on Friday renewed five of seven sanctions waivers that allow Russia and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, a senior US official said, according to The Associated Press.

The waivers, which were due to expire Saturday, are being extended for between 45 days and 90 days, shorter periods than had been granted in the past. They will permit work at several Iranian nuclear sites to continue without US penalties. Under the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Russia and several European nations help to maintain the facilities and are engaged in converting equipment there for exclusively civilian use.

Facilities included in the waiver extensions include the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Fordow enrichment facility, the Arak nuclear complex and the Tehran Research Reactor, the official told AP.

The other two waivers -- one that allowed Iran to store heavy water in Oman and the other that allowed Russia to process Iranian uranium -- are not being renewed, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The move comes even as the US continues to ramp up sanctions on Iran in the wake of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal. from the Iran nuclear deal last year.

A US official said last month that the US government is considering additional sanctions against Iran that would target areas of its economy that have not been hit before.

Sources said recently that Trump and his advisors are considering revoking sanctions waivers that have let several countries collaborate with Iran on civil nuclear projects.

That report came a day after Trump decided not to renew the exemption from sanctions on Iranian oil imports granted to several countries.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)