End of US Waivers Will Not Impair Iran Nuclear Activity

End of US Waivers Will Not Impair Iran Nuclear Activity
End of US Waivers Will Not Impair Iran Nuclear Activity

The United States' termination of sanctions waivers that allowed foreign firms to cooperate at Iranian nuclear sites will have no impact on Tehran's nuclear activities, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said. 
Behrouz Kamalvandi described the recent move as merely "media commotion and nothing more" by the US to divert attention away from its failed Iran policies. 
"Revoking the nuclear sanctions waivers is a desperate attempt made by the US to divert domestic and global public attention away from its successive defeats against Iran," he told ISNA. 
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran two years ago and restored sanctions on Tehran, but maintained the waivers agreed under the agreement that allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work at Iranian nuclear sites.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will terminate the exemptions that covered the conversion of Iran’s Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent reactor fuel abroad.
He added, however, that Washington would extend for 90 days a waiver allowing foreign work at a Russian-built nuclear power plant at Bushehr to ensure safety.
Kamalvandi said Iran will be able to continue its nuclear work even without the foreign companies' cooperation. 
"Our fuel in Russia will come to Iran whenever we need without any problem and even if that fuel runs out, we are able to produce it ourselves in the future without any country’s help," he said. 
He added that Iran has no worries about the Arak reactor either because the main work of design and fuel supply is already performed by Iranian experts. 
"Regarding the manufacture of equipment, Iranian forces are capable of doing it on their own if others refuse to cooperate," he said. 



Final Plug

The US move is part of its maximum pressure policy to force Iranian leaders to come to the negotiating table for a more comprehensive deal. 
"Because of our pressure, Iran's leaders are facing a decision: either negotiate with us or manage economic collapse," US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters.
The nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been on shaky ground since the US pullout, despite efforts by the remaining parties. 
While abiding by the nuclear deal's overall terms, Iran has also scaled back its commitments in response to the US pressure and other signatories' failure to avert its effects. 
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations described the recent US decision as "pulling the final plug" off the agreement.
"Two yrs ago @realDonaldTrump ceased participation in #JCPOA. Now, in further violation of JCPOA & UNSCR [UN Security Council Resolution] 2231 [that endorsed the deal] @SecPompeo pulls final plug, imposing penalties for compliance EVEN w/nuclear provisions of 2231," Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in a tweet. 



Peaceful Nature

The European Union's foreign policy chief on Thursday condemned Washington's move, warning it would make it harder to keep Tehran’s nuclear program in check.
The role of foreign firms was agreed in the nuclear deal to help ensure Iran's nuclear program would remain peaceful.
"The agreement remains the best and only way to ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Josep Borrell also told a United Nations Security Council meeting on Europe-UN relations, Business Recorder reported. 
Russia also censured the US for undermining international security by taking such a decision. 
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday that "the nature of this behavior is clearly disruptive". 
"Washington's actions are becoming more and more dangerous and unpredictable," she was quoted as saying by AFP. 

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