US Ends Sanctions Waivers for Iran Nuclear Site Work

Chinese, European companies will lose US permission to work there

The US would likely be out of diplomatic measures to take against Iran at this point, had they not recently re-implemented waivers for European and Chinese companies allowing them to work on Iranian nuclear reactors. Giving them that meant they could take them away later.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the US will withdraw the waivers on July 27. He offered no specific reason for the change, but did say the waiver of the Bushehr power plant would be extended for safety.

Theoretically, without these waivers those countries are not allowed by the US to do any nuclear work at other sites in Iran. In practice, neither China nor Russia worried about US waivers in the first place, and will likely continue the work uninterrupted.

European companies, however, may find such work less practical, with many of them shying away for fear of US banking sanctions. This means less competition for Iran to choose from, and more reliance on Iran and China.

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.