Iran to keep enriching uranium despite US move: parliament speaker

A general view of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant built by Russia

A general view of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant built by Russia

Russian Federation on Sunday pledged to continue its bilateral relations with Iran, saying "no threat" of new sanctions by the USA can stop their "legitimate and mutually beneficial cooperation".

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani says Iran will continue to enrich uranium in accordance with its nuclear accord with several world powers regardless of moves by the United States to put a stop to it.

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and ordered reimposition of sanctions against Iran.

Iran was to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on global markets in return for natural uranium.

At the same time, Pompeo renewed waivers of U.S. sanctions allowing Russia, China and European countries to pursue cooperation programs created to prevent Iran from reactivating a defunct nuclear weapons program.

Washington said the move was aimed at forcing Teheran to end its production of low-enriched uranium, a demand Iran has repeatedly rejected as it says it uses the uranium to help produce electricity.

Washington did extend five other waivers for up to 90 days related to elements of Tehran's civilian nuclear program.

The US said it will no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits. "Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity", the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

The EU's foreign policy chief and foreign ministers of the three countries released a statement, reiterating their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and "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".

"We know what they are doing, but we are not like some novice [countries] in the region and we will do nothing ... that may lead to further chaos in the region", the Iranian parliamentarian said.

Last month, the Trump administration announced it would no longer renew sanctions exemptions that allowed China, India, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to continue importing Iranian oil.

"Last year, we had non-oil exports of $43 billion (Dh158 billion)".

The Austrian Ambassador to Iran, Stefan Scholz, has said that Vienna rejects the US sanctions against Tehran and seeks to expand ties and cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

"The remaining participants to the JCPOA are committed to working on the preservation and maintenance of financial channels and exports for Iran, together with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA".

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