President Trump will decide today whether or not to waive nuclear sanctions again and keep the U.S.’s commitments to the Iran deal, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — the first time he has been faced with the choice since he announced his new strategy for the country late last year.
Despite his expressed disdain for the deal and intention to tear it up, the president is expected to sign a series of waivers for the fifth time as president, according to a senior State Department official, who cautioned that no decision is final.
“He’s going to get to make that decision this afternoon. We have a session scheduled with him over at the Oval [Office] today,” Tillerson told reporters during a photo-op at the State Department Thursday.
Consultations with his top foreign policy advisers began over the weekend at Camp David, where the president gathered with Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and others. As always with Trump, the president could change his mind at the last minute, the senior official added.
The waivers are on the nuclear sanctions the U.S. agreed to lift as part of the 2015 agreement between the U.S., Iran, the European Union, China, Russia, Germany, the U.K., and France. As part of America’s commitment under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, they must be re-signed periodically for varying lengths of time; some come up every 90 days, others 120 or 180.
As is customary, the Secretary of State has been designated to sign the waivers, which, despite different upcoming deadlines, will be bundled together as one document. Tillerson will be the one to notify Congress of the administration’s decision Friday.