My colleague in New York, Doug Maag, makes some very interesting points about the options available to President Trump in deciding whether or not to renew the waivers of US secondary sanctions due to expire in May and July this year. Whilst the President has made plain his desire to kill the Iran deal, his weapon of choice is uncertain; and he has a variety of options at his disposal. The choice that the President ultimately makes will affect businesses across the globe with Iran exposures, and will determine the response of EU allies, European and Asian businesses and Iran itself. With just under a week to go before the first waivers expire, the world waits to see what the President will do.
As most everyone interested in the JCPOA knows, the next date for renewal of waivers is May 12, 2018. Though barely a week away, there is significant uncertainty about what the US might do. Will it refrain from taking action on May 12 in deference to European allies? Will it non-renew JCPOA waivers on and after May 12? Will it "withdraw" from the JCPOA (a step not contemplated in the agreement itself)? While it remains to be seen what will happen, here are some things that could happen.