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Tipsheet

Joe Biden’s Move on Sanctions Waivers for Iran Pleases Nobody

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

On Friday, the State Department announced another step as an attempt at resurrecting the Iran deal, which is to allow non-American companies to work on civilian nuclear projects in Iran, as Mary Kay Linge reported for The New York Post. The move lifts sanctions on what is known as "civ-nuke" waivers.

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The move does not yet signal a full return to the Obama-era nuclear deal, as Abigail Williams and Dan De Luce for NBC News reported, citing a State Department official:

A senior State Department official denied that Friday’s step was a concession to Iran and instead characterized it as a “return to the status quo.”

“This is not a signal that we are about to reach an understanding on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” the official said.

The sanctions waiver “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 performance of its JCPOA commitments,” the State Department said in its report to Congress, adding it is also designed to “constrain Iran’s nuclear activities.”

“Absent this sanctions waiver, detailed technical discussions with third parties regarding disposition of stockpiles and other activities of nonproliferation value cannot take place,” the senior State Department official said.

As Republicans criticized the deal previously, including candidate and then President Donald Trump, who withdrew from the deal and halted such civ-nuke waivers, they've criticized the concessions now as well. In a statement for Townhall, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the Biden administration isn't getting anything in return. 

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"By lifting sanctions, Biden is giving Iran a win for absolutely nothing in return. He continues to fall all over himself to get into Iran’s good graces. The Ayatollahs know Biden will do anything to keep them at the table and they are taking full advantage of us in the process," Haley said. 

Conservatives aren't the only ones not happy. Iran isn't impressed, either. As Linge also reported, Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said it's "not enough." According to Reuters, Iran wants a guarantee of a revival of the disastrous 2015 deal, with Iran seeing it as a matter of wanting other nations to "fulfill their obligations."

Iran is close to being able to make a nuclear weapon, with the latest warning being it is months away. 

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