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Iran will take ‘legal, practical’ steps against US revocation of sanctions waivers

Iran has roundly condemned the United States’ latest decision to end the sanctions waivers in a landmark nuclear deal signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers in 2015, vowing to take "necessary practical and legal" steps to counter the negative impacts of the move.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Saturday said the US move to end the sanctions waivers for international nuclear cooperation with the Islamic Republic is a blatant violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the nuclear deal — officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — and the UN Charter.

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be closely monitoring the technical and political impacts of this move and “will take the necessary practical and legal steps if it adversely impacts Iran’s nuclear rights recognized in international documents and the letter of the JCPOA,” he added.

“This move ignores the Islamic Republic of Iran’s inherent rights and disrupts international public order,” the Iranian spokesperson pointed out.

Hawkish US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington had ended the last remaining sanctions waivers in the JCPOA.

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Thursday that the US has destroyed the last means of retention of the JCPOA by ending waivers for sanctions prohibiting nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

“Two yrs ago, @realDonaldTrump ceased participation in #JCPOA. Now, in further violation of JCPOA & UNSCR 2231 @SecPompeo pulls final plug, imposing penalties for compliance EVEN w/nuclear provisions of 2231,” Takht Ravanchi reminded in a Tweet.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump took an illegal and unilateral decision to end Washington’s participation in the nuclear deal and re-impose the sanctions that the agreement had lifted, in defiance of the fact that the accord has been endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2231.

France, Germany and Britain — the three European signatories to the JCPOA — censured the United States for ending the last remaining sanctions waivers in the deal.

“We deeply regret the US decision to end the three waivers,” the three European countries said in a joint statement on Saturday.

“These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, serve the non-proliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities,” they added.

China and Russia — two permanent members of the UN Security Council and other signatories to the JCPOA, have also censured the US decision.

Speaking at a regular press conference in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the move would hamper “shared efforts” made by parties to the nuclear deal to maintain the agreement after the unilateral US withdrawal.

“It [US decision] demonstrates its consistent pattern of unilateral and hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that,” Zhao added.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also on Thursday condemned the United States for undermining international security by deciding to end the waivers and withdraw from a number of international treaties, including a recent one pertaining to unarmed surveillance flights.

“The nature of this behavior is clearly disruptive,” Zakharova told reporters, adding, “Washington’s actions are becoming more and more dangerous and unpredictable.”

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