EU’s Borrell condemns U.S. for ending nuclear waivers

May 29, 2020 - 17:45

TEHRAN - European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned on Thursday the United States’ move to end sanction waivers for countries remaining in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA.

At a United Nations Security Council meeting on Europe-UN relations, Borrell highlighted the “enduring importance” of the deal, AFP reported.

According to EU’s website, he said, “Let me reiterate the enduring importance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the so-called JCPOA - with Iran. As you know, I am the Coordinator of the Joint Commission and I am determined to do everything to ensure full and effective implementation and, in particular, Iran’s return to full compliance.”

“I have to regret yesterday’s decision by the United States not to prolong the waivers for the JCPOA-related nuclear projects,” he noted.

The United States announced the end of waivers that allowed countries to cooperate with Iran on civil nuclear projects under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that the waivers will end following a 60-day wind-down period that is meant to allow businesses to cease operations.

"I am announcing the end of the sanctions waiver covering all remaining JCPOA-originating nuclear projects in Iran -- the Arak reactor conversion, the provision of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, and the export of Iran's spent and scrap research reactor fuel," Pompeo said in a statement, according to CNN.

The top US diplomat said that an exception would be made to provide a 90-day extension for the waiver that covers ongoing international support to Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 to ensure safety of operations. "We will continue to closely monitor all developments in Iran's nuclear program and can modify this waiver at any time," Pompeo said.

Russia calls U.S. move violation of 2231 resolution

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, has called the U.S. move violation of the UN Charter and also the 2231 resolution.

“The US ends sanctions waiver covering #JCPOA-originating (and endorsed by #UNSC) nuclear projects in #Iran. Illegal US sanctions against these projects mean further violations of UN Charter (article 25), UNSC res.2231 and #NPT (art.4). US continues to undermine non-proliferation,” he tweeted on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the multilateral nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

The U.S. move was in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions.

In May 2019, exactly one year after the U.S. unilaterally quit the deal and imposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran began to gradually reduce its commitments under the JCPOA to both retaliate for Washington’s departure and Europeans’ failure to honor their commitments.

On January 5, Iran took a fifth and last step in reducing its commitments and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development. However, Iran has insisted if the Europeans honor their obligations it will immediately reverse its decisions.

Iran’s move is in line with paragraph 36 of the JCPOA.

President Hassan Rouhani said on May 6 that Iran will return to full implementation of the JCPOA if other signatories do the same.


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