Press TV – Russia and France have expressed dismay at a recent US decision to cancel a sanctions waiver related to Iran’s Fordow enrichment facility ending a key part of a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement, which Washington abandoned last year.
Speaking on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the waiver, which allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work at Fordow, will be eliminated on December 15.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned Washington’s move to restore sanctions against Fordow as a breach of international obligations.
“Such decisions are another example of a flagrant violation of international obligations by the United States and its irresponsible attitude towards the agreements being signed and the decisions of the UN Security Council that it not only feels free to openly violate but also tries to impede the process of implementation by all other countries,” it said.
The ministry also stressed that Moscow would continue close cooperation with Tehran on the Fordow reconfiguration.
Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed between Iran and six world states, the Fordow plant was to stop enriching uranium and be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology center.
However, Washington’s exit in May 2018 and subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Iran left the future of the historic deal in limbo.
Fordow was granted an exemption from US sanctions for non-proliferation projects.
Earlier this month, Iran began injecting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas into centrifuges at the Fordow plant, where 1,044 centrifuges are installed, as part of its fourth step away from the JCPOA under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Islamic Republic took the steps based on Articles 26 and 36 of the deal in reciprocation for Washington’s pullout from the JCPOA and Europe’s failure to meet its end of the bargain.
Also on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry lamented the US decision to terminate the Fordow sanctions waiver, but also expressed concern over Tehran’s steps away from the JCPOA.
“France is extremely concerned about Iran’s non-compliance with its nuclear obligations, which could have serious implications for proliferation. … We also regret the US decision — following Iran’s resumption of [uranium] enrichment at Fordow section — to cancel the waiver, which was supposed to facilitate the implementation of civilian projects on this site,” he said at a briefing.
Paris, he added, intends to make efforts in support of the JCPOA and reducing tensions.