US renews four nuclear restrictions imposed on Iran

Donald Trump administration on March 30, 2020 renewed the four nuclear restrictions imposed on Iran for another 60 days. The restrictions are aimed at preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

The spokesperson of the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus said that the US is renewing four nuclear restrictions on Iran for an additional 60 days. He further said that the department will be closely monitoring developments in Iran’s nuclear programme and will adjust these restrictions accordingly. 

President Donald Trump had stated earlier that Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. This extension in sanctions comes as coronavirus pandemic has gripped the entire world including Iran and the United States with thousands of people testing positive for COVID-19.

Significance

This decision was taken to make it harder for Iran to work on its nuclear programme and further develop nuclear weapons. Iran’s continued nuclear programme has irked the United States, which has called it unacceptable. 

US Statement

The United States in its official statement called Iran’s continued expansion of nuclear activities as unacceptable. It stated that Iran’s nuclear activities is among the greatest threats to international peace and security. US President Trump had reiterated earlier this year that Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. The US stated that it will continue to use its diplomatic and economic tools to restrict Iran’s destabilising proliferation activities. Further, the United States will continue to closely monitor Iran’s nuclear programme and adjust the restrictions as needed. 

US renews sanction waivers to allow non-proliferation work in Iran 

While restricting Iran’s nuclear activities, the United States has renewed certain sanction waivers, allowing Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue their non-proliferation work at Iran’s Arak heavy-water research reactor, Tehran Research Reactor, Bushehr nuclear power plant and other nuclear initiatives. 

Background

The Trump administration had in 2018 withdrawn the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restored heavy sanctions on Iran. The US also tightened its restrictions to pressurise Iran to curb and restrain its nuclear activities. 

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