Europe, China Slam End of US Waivers for Joint Nuclear Projects in Iran

Europe, China Slam End of US Waivers for Joint Nuclear Projects in Iran
Europe, China Slam End of US Waivers for Joint Nuclear Projects in Iran

China and the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal censured the United States’ decision to terminate the sanctions waivers that allowed foreign cooperation in Iran’s nuclear projects, saying it is to the detriment of global non-proliferation efforts. 
US announced on Wednesday that it will terminate the waivers that covered the conversion of Iran’s Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent reactor fuel abroad, but will extend the one that allowed foreign work at a Russian-built nuclear power plant at Bushehr for 90 days to ensure safety.
The role of foreign firms was agreed in the nuclear deal to help ensure Iran’s nuclear program would remain peaceful. The US has unilaterally abandoned the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, for two years and revived the sanctions it had once agreed to lift. 
Spokespersons of the High Representative of the European Union and the foreign ministries of France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement on Saturday, expressing deep regret about the US decision to end the three waivers. 
"These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, serve the non-proliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities," they said in the statement published on the British Foreign Ministry website. 
They said they are consulting with partners to assess the consequences of the new US measure against JCPOA, which they described as a key achievement of the global non-proliferation architecture and currently "the best and only way" to keep Iran's nuclear program in check. 
"That is why we have worked continuously with the aim of ensuring the full and effective implementation of commitments under the JCPOA, in particular the return of Iran to full compliance with its nuclear commitments without delay," the statement noted. 
Iran scaled back its commitments under the deal after it remained deprived of its promised benefits for a year since the US pullout in 2018. It has declared that all measures would immediately be reversed once it can enjoy all those benefits again. 



Hegemonic Practice

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian also expressed Beijing's firm opposition to the new US decision, saying it demonstrates "a consistent pattern of unilateral and hegemonic practice".
"Its [Washington's] latest decision to end sanctions waiver on relevant nuclear projects hampers the international non-proliferation progress and shared efforts to preserve the JCPOA," he said at a regular press briefing on Friday, China's Foreign Ministry website reported. 
He stressed that the Arak reactor conversion is an important part of the nuclear deal and China is ready to work with other parties to continue to uphold the deal and safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests. 
Zhao also pointed out that JCPOA is an important component of the international non-proliferation regime and essential to peace and stability in the Middle East. 
"Complying with and acting on these [JCPOA] arrangements serves all parties' common interests and is a shared responsibility."
He regretted that the US has chosen to stick to its maximum pressure campaign on Iran and has not only unilaterally withdrawn from the deal in violation of the United Nations' resolution, but also "ratcheted up efforts to thwart other parties' implementation of the deal".
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, had said earlier that the new measure will have no impact on Tehran's nuclear activities because it can continue its work even without the foreign companies' cooperation. 
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi also strongly condemned the move on Saturday, saying it is a violation of UNSC Resolution 2231 and the UN Charter, ISNA reported. 
"This measure is a disregard for the Islamic Republic's original rights and disrupts the general international order," he said. 
Mousavi noted that Iran will closely monitor the technical and political consequences of the decision and will take legal and practical steps if it negatively affects the country's nuclear rights under international documents and the terms of JCPOA. 

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