Pompeo Won’t Commit to Shutting Down Iran’s Contested Nuclear Work

Washington Free Beacon | 4/10/2019 | Adam Kredo
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BY: Adam Kredo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would not commit to ending a series of waivers issued by the Trump administration that have permitted Iran to engage in some its most contested nuclear work, including at a secretive military site that once housed the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons program.

Exchange - Sen - Ted - Cruz - R

In an exchange with Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Pompeo declined to commit to canceling the disputed waivers, which have sparked an inter-administration battle, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

The issue of these waivers—which have been granted to Iran so that it can continue its lucrative oil trade, as well as nuclear research work—has generated a growing rift between Iran hawks on Capitol Hill and within the administration and Pompeo's State Department. Sources have identified those in the State Department as the reason several policies that have kept the landmark Iran nuclear deal on life support have continued, despite President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the pact.

Cruz - Iran - Policy - Hawks - Record

Cruz and other Iran policy hawks have gone on record in recent weeks, including in interviews with the Free Beacon, to demand that Pompeo stop issuing both the oil and nuclear waivers. Multiple sources inside and outside the administration have described to the Free Beacon a widening fight between those U.S. officials who aim to keep the nuclear deal alive and those who see an opportunity to tighten the noose on Tehran and potentially collapse its hardline ruling regime.

At stake is the future of the nuclear deal itself, sources say. If the waivers do not come to an end in the coming months, the Islamic Republic will be handed a pass to continue nuclear work at sites such as Fordow, a military bunker housed on the side of a mountain that has played host to Iran's nuclear weapons program.

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(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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