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EU, Russia Voice Concern Over U.S. Decision Not To Renew Iran Waivers

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Drian (L), UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (C) and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas give a press conference on Iran, January 31, 2019. File photo

The European Union and foreign ministers of the three leading European powers, United Kingdom, France and Germany voices concern May 4 over the U.S. decision to end Iran oil import exemptions and two other exemptions related to its civilian nuclear program.

A day earlier, Washington had renewed five nuclear exemptions for 90 days, instead of 180, as in the past. But it did not renew two other exemptions, which enable Iran to continue low grade uranium enrichment. Based on this decision, Iran cannot ship out its enriched uranium and receive new supplies of natural uranium. It also cannot move out its heavy water.

These exemptions were offered as a part of the 2015 nuclear agreement to allow Iran to pursue a limited civilian nuclear program.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini expressed the “concern” of European parties of the nuclear deal.

The Russian foreign ministry also criticized the U.S. decision to cancel the two nuclear exemptions and went further, accusing Washington of aiming for a regime change in Iran, Interfax reported.

Iran parliament speaker Ali Larijani announced May 4 that Iran will continue enrichment. "Under the (nuclear accord) Iran can produce heavy water, and this is not in violation of the agreement. Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity," the semi-official news agency ISNA quoted Larijani as saying.

With reporting by DPA, Reuters and INTERFAX