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Iran Press TV

US to renew waivers allowing nuclear cooperation with Iran again: Report

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:33AM

The United States will once again waive its sanctions on nuclear cooperation with Iran, allowing Russian, Chinese, and European companies to continue their work at Iranian nuclear facilities, a says.

A Reuters report on Wednesday quoted two sources familiar with the matter as saying that the administration of US President Donald Trump "will let the work go forward by issuing waivers to sanctions that bar non-US firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)."

The Trump administration had self-imposed an Oct. 29 deadline to decide whether to extend the waivers, a key commitment under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, which Trump left in May 2018.

US Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, had said in an Oct. 16 Senate hearing that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have to make a decision by Oct. 29 on canceling or renewing the five waivers that enable European powers, Russia and China to deploy personnel to four Iranian nuclear sites to work with their Iranian counterparts.

The programs on which Iran is cooperating with the remaining parties to the JCPOA include modifying the heavy water reactor in Arak, converting the Fordow enrichment facility as well as fuel exchanges at the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the Tehran research reactor.

Back on Monday, UK Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire said in a Twitter video message that a team of British nuclear technology experts recently visited the Arak reactor and made "good progress" with Iranians in the civilian cooperation mission.

The project initially involved US and Chinese experts, but Britain replaced the US contingent after Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

"This project shows how hard we are trying to make sure the JCPOA remains active after the US withdrawal," Macaire said in Persian.

He also vowed that London would remain committed to its cooperation with Iran under the JCPOA after Brexit.

The US had earlier extended the waivers once in May and again on July 30 for another 90-day period in defiance of the hawks that wanted the waivers eliminated.

The decision to extend the waivers comes in defiance of calls by hawkish elements such as Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham for scrapping at least some of the waivers.

The two GOP Senators recently drafted legislation that would require the Trump administration to end three waivers that allow international work at Fordow, Arak and the Tehran Research Reactor, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The waivers renewal comes as the US launched its "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran after pulling out of the 2015 multilateral accord and re-imposing the sanctions it had lifted under the agreement.

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