Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

EU to continue trade with Iran through 'INSTEX': EU Statement

EU to continue trade with Iran through 'INSTEX': EU Statement

The US intensified its pressures against the Iranian nation recently by refusing to reissue sanctions waivers on Iranian oil sales followed by a Friday announcement that it would try to force Iran to stop nuclear enrichment in a blatant violation of the nuclear deal.

Relations between Iran and the United States have worsened after the latter pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump came into power.

The nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed by Iran with EU, France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia and the U.S. in 2015. But it did not renew two other exemptions, which enable Iran to continue low grade uranium enrichment.

But in Friday's policy change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would start to impose sanctions on anyone involved in the trade of natural for enriched uranium - as well as in the storage of Iranian heavy water that was in excess of limits. "We call upon Iran to continue implementing in full its commitments under the JCPoA as well as its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons".

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

"We. take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran", Britain's foreign office said in a joint statement with its German and French counterparts and the European Union.

Instead of granting the waivers for 180 days, the administration will shorten their term to 90 days, the statement said. Heavy water is not in and of itself a nuclear materiel, nor is its global export limited by U.S. demands.

In its 14 reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran has abided by the JCPOA, contrary to the views of the Trump administration.

Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University, told Al Jazeera the United States move is aimed at stopping Iran from exporting oil.

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

Friday's USA move, which Rouhani made no direct reference to, was the third punitive action Washington has taken against Iran in as many weeks.

Like this: