The Trump administration on Thursday announced it was extending waivers for Iran to continue work at its nuclear facilities while also slapping new sanctions on Iranian officials.
Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said the dual actions aim to increase transparency regarding Tehran’s purported peaceful nuclear activities and punish the agency accused of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal with European countries.
“The United States is renewing for 60 days, four nuclear restrictions on Iran that permit the continuation of non-proliferation projects that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities,” Hook told reporters at the State Department. “We will closely monitor all developments in Iran’s nuclear program and Secretary Pompeo will end these projects as developments warrant.”
The new sanctions, he said, will target the chief agency overseeing nuclear power and its top officer.
“The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has played a big role in Iran breaching its key nuclear commitments. It has exceeded the limits on its uranium stockpiles and enrichment levels,” Hook said.
Hook called on European nations to join the U.S. in its pressure campaign of sanctions.
“President Trump has asked the members of the nuclear deal, what’s left of it since it’s going to start expiring in 8 months, to join the United States and leave the deal and join our foreign policy strategy, which is working,” he said.
Hook on Thursday said the U.S. was “very pleased” by recent statements from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who suggested replacing the existing nuclear deal with “the Trump deal.”
The waiver extension and new sanctions come amid increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and the waivers are an apparent departure from the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign that began after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.