On May 27, 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States was ending the sanctions waiver pertaining to the remaining nuclear projects in Iran covered by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the Arak reactor modernization conversion, the provision of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, and the export of Iran’s spent and scrap research reactor fuel. The sanctions waiver covering these activities will end on July 27, 2020, following a final, 60-day wind-down period allowing companies and entities involved in these activities to cease their operations. However, for ongoing international support of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, the State Department indicated that this waiver would continue 90 days to ensure the safety of operations.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that as a result of the State Department’s action, “persons engaged in such activities should take the steps necessary to wind down those activities … to avoid potential exposure to sanctions under U.S. law.” In addition, OFAC added two Iranian individuals to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List:

  • Majid Agha’I – a manager of an Atomic Energy Organization of Iran subsidiary responsible for research and development of advanced centrifuges
  • Amjad Sazgar – managing director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran responsible for the industrial-scale production of uranium enrichment gas centrifuge machines

In making this announcement, Pompeo stated, “The Iranian regime has continued its nuclear brinkmanship by expanding proliferation sensitive activities. These escalatory actions are unacceptable and I cannot justify renewing the waiver for these JCPOA-related activities as a result.”