The Biden administration opted to renew multiple sanctions waivers on Iran’s nuclear work, including cooperation with Russia, the State Department told lawmakers Friday.
The sanctions waivers, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, allow Iran to work with Russia at nuclear enrichment sites suspected of being used for military purposes. The waivers are targeted at converting Iran’s Arak reactor into a less-threatening light-water reactor, according to The WSJ.
The waivers would also allow fuel to be shipped to civilian sites in Tehran and at the Bushehr reactor. The State Department notified lawmakers via a non-public notification sent several days after the waivers were renewed, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is currently pushing legislation that would prevent the administration from renewing the waivers in the future. A spokesman for Cruz told the Free Beacon that the administration is “pathologically obsessed with reentering a nuclear deal with Iran.”
State Dept. Spox Ned Price responds to Ted Cruz’s claim that the Biden admin is “obsessed” with reviving the Iran nuclear deal: “I’m not sure how we could be more clear” that the JCPOA is not on the agenda right now @DailyCaller
— Dylan Housman (@Dylan_Housman) January 24, 2023
Cruz recently lobbed a similar criticism at the administration, accusing it of being obsessed with reviving the JCPOA. In response to a question from the Daily Caller, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said he was “not sure how [they] could be more clear” that the Iran nuclear deal is not currently on the agenda for the administration.
What has been on the agenda of both the State Department and Congress is curtailing cooperation between Iran and Russia. Iran has been the number one supplier of military assistance to Moscow during its invasion of Ukraine, with Russia using Iranian-made drones to attack targets throughout the country. (RELATED: Israel Reportedly Behind Drone Strike On Iranian Munitions Factory)
The waivers could result in billions of dollars in profit for Russian state firms like Rosatom, a Russian nuclear energy company that does work at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant, according to the Free Beacon.