Trump Administration Sends Mixed Signals to Iran on Civilian Nuclear Program

Trump Administration Sends Mixed Signals to Iran on Civilian Nuclear Program

"Therefore, we will carry on with enrichment activity", the semiofficial Iranian news agency, ISNA, quoted Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani as saying on May 4.

The United States' allies in Europe have criticised its recent decisions to restrict oil trade with Iran and to limit the extension of waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, Iran agreed to transform its nuclear facilities at Arak and Fordow in ways that would make it much more hard to use them to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

On Saturday, the 4th of May 2019, Speaker of Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani said that Iran would continue to produce low-enriched uranium despite a United States move to stop it, adding that Iran's production of heavy water, which could be converted to plutonium in reactors and used in nuclear warheads, had not been violating current nuclear accord.

As part of the agreement, Iran was to sell any enriched uranium above that threshold on global markets in return for natural uranium, with Russian Federation a key player. In withdrawing, Trump said Tehran was not living up to the "spirit" of the accord because of its support for militants in the region and for continuing to test nuclear weapons.

In November, Washington snapped back sanctions on Iran's banking, energy and shipping industries, while granting 180-day waivers to eight of Iran's major oil buyers, including South Korea, Japan and Turkey.

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Iran says it will continue to export oil in defiance of U.S. sanctions, part of a campaign by Washington aimed at halting Tehran's ballistic missile program and curbing its regional power. We will also no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits; any such heavy water must no longer be available to Iran in any fashion.

At the same time, the Trump administration renewed waivers of US sanctions allowing Russia, China, France and Britain to pursue programs created to prevent Iran from reactivating a defunct nuclear weapons program, the State Department said in a statement.

Washington said the move was aimed at forcing Tehran 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.

But President Donald Trump past year pulled out of the deal and began reimposing sanctions, although he granted some waivers. It also would have raised the possibility of sanctions against Russia, China and the United Kingdom, which all play roles in Iran's limited nuclear program. The latest announcement is part of United States' "unprecedented maximum pressure campaign" on Iran, as per an official press release.

Last week, it said it would grant no more sanctions waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, accelerating its plan to push Iran's oil exports to zero.