After an internal policy battle, the Trump administration is set to announce later this week that it will once again waive five different nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, preserving a key part of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal. The decision will upset Iran hawks in Washington and be welcomed by Russia, China, European allies and the Iranian leadership. The issue is emblematic of the tension inside the administration over the implementation of President Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy.
In an Oval Office meeting last week, Trump sided with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who argued that the administration should again renew sanctions waivers related to five separate parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Mnuchin prevailed over the objections of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, according to six administration officials. Pompeo, who is the lead official on the issue, will nevertheless support Trump’s decision when it is announced later this week.