U.S. Cancels Civil-Nuclear-Cooperation Waiver For Iran

Clay Curtis
November 19, 2019

Following recent assertion by Tehran of its intention to resume uranium enrichment at its Fordow facility, the United States on Monday said it would withdraw its sanction waiver to Iran's facility.

Large protests in many major cities across Iran are focused on an increase in gasoline prices, but U.S. officials are hoping to restructure them as a US-backed call for regime change. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to endorse such protests.

Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday slammed US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo for backing protestors.

"This step further risks collapsing the JCPOA because it removes a tangible benefit to Iran under the deal", Davenport said.

Piling pressure as protests hit Iran, the move is meant to discourage work led by Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom at the once-secret site, which was supposed to be transformed into a civilian research center under the 2015 agreement.

The report also confirmed that Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment, in breach of the 2015 deal, feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into previously mothballed enrichment centrifuges at the underground Fordow plant south of Tehran.

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Pompeo had already announced explicitly that people of Iran must be starved to be forced to surrender to the US, Mousavi added.

"The United States rejects this approach completely, and call on all nations to do the same", he said.

The waivers are one of the last remaining components of the 2015 nuclear deal the Trump administration withdrew from previous year. "The only viable way forward is through comprehensive negotiations that address the full range of Iran's threats in their entirety". The remaining three waivers expire in February. "Iran's behavior in the Middle East, in particular the attack on the Saudi oil field, does not justify continued waivers for their nuclear program", tweeted Sen.

Iran hawks have been pressing Pompeo to eliminate all the waivers but have most strenuously objected to the one for Fordow. "We will continue to urge the administration to stop issuing all civil-nuclear waivers and call on our colleagues to expeditiously take up our legislation, end these waivers, and hold Iran accountable". The waivers for Fordow as well as the Bushehr nuclear power station, the Arak heavy water plant and the Tehran Research Reactor were last extended in late October.

Heavy water is not itself radioactive but is used by some nuclear reactors to absorb neutrons from nuclear fission.

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