US Extends Waiver on Iran’s Civilian Nuclear Program

Sens. Graham, Cruz condemn 'lost opportunity'

On Thursday, the State Department announced that they are extending the sanctions waivers related to Iran’s civilian nuclear program for another 90 days. The waivers were set to expire next week,

The waivers allow private companies, generally companies from Russia, China, and the European Union, to work with Iran’s civilian nuclear program, in spite of general US policy that anything Iran-related is subject to sanctions.

This mostly involves Iran buying fuel for ts power plant, sending waste to Russia for reprocessing, and working on designs and improvements for the eventually heavy water reactor at Arak. In the past, it would also allow Iran to sell excess heavy water, though no one has been buying that lately.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) condemned the move in a joint statement, calling it a “lost opportunity” to further undermine the P5+1 nuclear deal that the US was previously part of.

Indeed, the civilian waives were a big part of implementing the nuclear deal in the first place. The only reason the US hasn’t revoked them already is that there is really no basis for doing so, as it would ultimately mean sanctioning companies which are engaged in legal action under a nuclear safeguards agreement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.