Britain, France, and Germany have criticized a decision by the United States to end sanctions waivers for companies from countries that remain in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“We deeply regret the U.S. decision to end the three waivers covering key JCPOA nuclear projects in Iran,” a joint May 30 statement from the three European powers said.
The waivers were part of the landmark agreement signed with Tehran in 2015 that limited Iran’s nuclear activities in return for lifting crippling economic sanctions.
They allowed European, Chinese, and Russian companies to work on the conversion of a heavy-water reactor in Arak, a major industrial city in western Iran.
“These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, serve the nonproliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on May 27 that Iran’s continued “nuclear brinkmanship” in breaching some of its nuclear commitments did not justify renewing the waivers.
“The regime’s nuclear extortion will lead to increased pressure on Iran and further isolate the regime from the international community,” he said.
Nonproliferation experts say that the waivers give international experts a valuable eye into Tehran’s nuclear activities and that its scientific research is for legitimate civilian purposes, such as medicine.