US President Donald Trump

US extends sanctions relief for Iran


WASHINGTON, DC, May 18, 2017 – The US government committed on Wednesday to continuing the sanctions relief for Iran agreed on in the 2015 nuclear deal.

The move marks President Donald Trump’s first policy decision in relation to the deal, which he had threatened to “rip up” during his campaign.

The decision came only two days before Iran’s presidential elections.


“The United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing U.S. sanctions-lifting commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” read a statement released by the US State Department.

Concerns about Trump’s stance on sanctions have proven a complicating factor for foreign investment in Iran, although the market has nevertheless drawn interest from a number of European oil majors since the lifting of sanctions in January 2016.

Among the key deals in play is Total’s investment in phase 11 of the super-giant South Pars gasfield, valued at USD 4.8 billion. In February, CEO Patrick Pouyanne indicated the company’s decision on the project would be based on the renewal of sanctions relief by the US.

Wednesday’s signal from the Trump administration could mark a turning point for this deal and others.

Photo courtesy of: Gage Skidmore