European Union concerned over U.S. stand on Iranian oil

Since taking the pledge as the 45th president of the US, Donald Trump had been signalling to put sanctions on Iran.

The US decision, however, did not affect the arrangement that allows China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain and the European Union to work with Iran on its nuclear sites.

The U.S. State Department also announced on Friday that Washington will not renew two of sanctions waivers which allowed Russian Federation and the European nations to do business with Tehran.

They also expressed concern that the USA renewed only five of seven sanctions waivers allowing Russian Federation and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear co-operation with Iran.

The work includes modifications to ensure that the Arak reactor produces less plutonium, the Fordow nuclear site is converted into a research facility, and Iran continues to receive fuel for the Bushehr nuclear energy facility.

A day earlier, Washington had renewed five nuclear exemptions for 90 days, instead of 180, as in the past.

"Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment", State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity.

"Under the JCPOA, Iran can produce heavy water... and based on the agreement, we have not carried out anything in violation of it", Larijani said on Saturday.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed concern about the American decision not to extend waivers on oil trade with Iran and not to fully renew waivers for nuclear nonproliferation projects.

The statement said that 'we note Iran's continued compliance with the JCPOA, as repeatedly confirmed by the IAEA.

Last month, the United States had announced that no fresh sanction waivers will be issued for Iranian oil importers to South Korea, China, India and five other countries.

The Russian foreign ministry also criticized the USA decision to cancel the two nuclear exemptions and went further, accusing Washington of aiming for a regime change in Iran, Interfax reported.

"Last year, we had non-oil exports of $43 billion (Dh158 billion)".

"The remaining participants to the JCPOA are committed to working on the preservation and maintenance of financial channels and exports for Iran, together with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA".

The Austrian Ambassador to Iran, Stefan Scholz, has said that Vienna rejects the USA sanctions against Tehran and seeks to expand ties and cooperation with the Islamic Republic. It also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.

  • Jon Douglas