The United States said on Monday it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site.
“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero … There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. The U.N. atomic watchdog and Iran itself said this month Tehran is again enriching uranium at the sensitive site, which Iran hid from U.N. non-proliferation inspectors until its exposure in 2009.
While European countries have tried to salvage the 2015 nuclear nonproliferation agreement, Iran has increasingly distanced itself from the accord since the United States withdrew last year. The pact requires Iran to restrain its enrichment program in exchange for the removal of most international sanctions, and it called for Fordow to be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology center.
Despite its withdrawal, the Trump administration has granted sanctions waivers that allowed foreign firms to do work in Iran that advanced non-proliferation. Those included Russia’s Rosatom at Fordow. Pompeo said the waivers will end on Dec. 15. The State Department had said last month that it renewed waivers for 90 days.
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