BREAKING: New Iran Deal Lets Russia Cash in on $10 Billion Contract To Build Nuke Sites — Biden admin will waive sanctions so Russia’s top energy firm can build contested Iranian nuke plant, enriching Moscow even as Ukraine sanctions bite https://t.co/imW59BRXTY
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) March 16, 2022
New Iran Agreement Lets Russia Cash $10 Billion Contract To Build Nuclear Sites
Sanctions Evasion Hub for Putin
Russia’s top state energy company is set to cash in on a $10 billion contract to build out one of Iran’s most contested nuclear sites as part of concessions granted in the soon-to-be-announced nuclear agreement.
Russian and Iranian documents translated for the Washington Free Beacon show that Rosatom, Russia’s leading energy company, has a $10 billion contract with Iran’s atomic energy organization to expand Tehran’s Bushehr nuclear plant. Russia and Biden confirmed on Tuesday that the new nuclear agreement includes carveouts that will waive sanctions on both countries so that Russia can make good on this contract.
“We, of course, would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed on Tuesday, referring to the original 2015 nuclear accord. Russia’s foreign ministry made a similar statement on Tuesday, saying that “additions were made to the text of the future agreement on JCPOA restoration to ensure that all the JCPOA-related projects, [especially] with Russian participation, as well as Bushehr [nuclear power plant], are protected from negative impact of anti-Russian restrictions” by the United States and European Union.
The removal of these sanctions will provide Moscow’s Rosatom company with a critical source of revenue as American and European sanctions crush Russia’s economy in response to its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The concessions to Moscow have generated frustration on Capitol Hill, with top Republican leaders accusing the Biden administration of weakening penalties on Russia to secure an agreement with Iran. Moscow has served as the United States’ top interlocutor in talks, even as the country’s war machine rolls across Ukraine. The Free Beacon first reported on Tuesday that a policy document circulating among lawmakers exposes how the new nuclear agreement will create a “sanctions evasion hub” for Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“Rosatom’s projects in Iran are crucial to the company’s future financial viability—that’s exactly why we should shut them down by disrupting their foreign contracts—especially those with a regime like Iran,” Noronha said. “We’re doing the opposite. The United States should sanction Rosatom for its involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine, but in classic fashion, we’re giving them full sanctions immunity that will stabilize Rosatom’s finances.”
Rosatom’s contract with Iran has Moscow constructing two blocks of the Bushehr nuclear plant, which are set to go online in 2024 and 2026.
As of last year, Iran owed Russia $500 million for past work on the country’s nuclear program. Russia could not access this money due to Trump administration sanctions that blocked Tehran from accessing funds held in Japanese and South Korean banks. These sanctions are set to be lifted as part of the upcoming nuclear deal.