President Trump announced today, May 8, 2018, that the United States will withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal and will begin reimposing previously waived sanctions on Iran. The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was signed by the U.S. in July 2015 along with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran. The White House issued a statement which explained that “President Trump is terminating United States participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.”
President Trump has long been a critic of the JCPOA and previously refused to certify the agreement in October of 2017. Then, in January of 2018, President Trump agreed to temporarily extend statutory waivers necessary to preserve the JCPOA but stated that he would be doing so for the last time unless Iran and the other JCPOA-counterparties could amend the JCPOA to his satisfaction. With today’s announcement, the U.S. Departments of State and Treasury will officially revoke those waivers. The U.S. Department of Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued guidance which indicates that the revoked waivers will be replaced with waivers and OFAC authorizations that will permit limited wind-down activities for transactions that were previously permitted under the JCPOA. The authorized wind-down activities are expected to include:
OFAC has also indicated that:
At the time of this posting, the Departments of State and Treasury have not yet issued the forthcoming wind-down waivers and OFAC also has not yet issued its additional wind-down authorizations. As a result, it is currently unclear exactly what winding-down activities will be allowed during the wind-down periods discussed above.