Iran to keep enriching uranium despite U.S. move - parliament speaker

April FrancisMay 07, 2019

The United States acted on Friday to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant even as it granted waivers allowing some countries to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with the country.

Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

Iran has said it will continue uranium enrichment and heavy water production despite USA pressure on the Islamic republic to end it.

"Under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), Iran can produce heavy water... and based on the agreement, we have not carried out anything in violation of it. Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity", the semi-official news agency ISNA quoted Larijani as saying. "We reserve the right to revoke or modify our policy covering these nonproliferation activities at any time if Iran violates its nuclear obligations or commitments or we conclude that such projects no longer provide value in constraining Iranian nuclear activities".

At the same time, Pompeo renewed waivers of United States sanctions allowing Russia, China and European countries to pursue cooperation programs created to prevent Iran from reactivating a defunct nuclear weapons program.

Zamaninia gave no details about the "grey market", but Iran is widely reported to have sold oil at steep discounts and often through private firms during sanctions earlier this decade.

Stocks plummet on fears of U.S.-China trade war
On Friday, he had cited good progress in trade talks and praised his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping . Only last week it was being reported that a trade deal may be struck by the end of this week.

Separately, President Hassan Rouhani said live on television on Saturday that Iran must counter U.S. sanctions by continuing to export its oil as well as boosting non-oil exports.

After Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran in November a year ago, the United States government granted eight countries six-months waivers to keep buying Iranian crude. "We have no way but to resist and unite", Rouhani said in a televised speech.

"The sanctions mean Iran will lose its main source of revenue and hence, more pressure on the country's budget".

The Trump administration also took the unprecedented step of designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

A year after President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal, its European signatories, who still honor the agreement, have expressed concern over the United States decision not to extend waivers on oil trade with Tehran.

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