Skip to main content

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Back to the Future... Secondary Sanctions Return as White House Withdraws United States from JCPOA; Reinstates 'Highest' Sanctions on Iran

9 May 2018

On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) directing the US Treasury Department and other federal agencies to reinstate sanctions against Iran that were suspended under the JCPOA in January 2016. This action results in the re-imposition of stringent US unilateral and secondary sanctions against Iran, which greatly heightens US sanctions risk for non-US companies that continue to engage in business with Iran after a 3-to-6 month wind-down period that otherwise is permitted under their local legislation. US assertion of authority to instruct non-US companies to terminate entirely non-US business with Iran, despite Iran's apparent compliance with the JCPOA, already has attracted a heated response from major trading partners and allies who resent this intrusion on their sovereignty.

Download PDF