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France, Britain, Germany 'Regret' US End To Iran Nuclear Waivers

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian attend a meeting at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, May 13, 2019. FILE PHOTO

The three European signatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, France, Germany and Britain on Saturday criticized a U.S. decision to end sanctions waivers allowing work on Iranian nuclear sites designed to prevent weapons development.

"We deeply regret the U.S. decision to end the three waivers," the three European countries said in a joint statement.

"These projects, endorsed by U.N. 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."

The waivers had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work on the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for a Tehran research reactor, and the transfer of spent uranium fuel abroad.

Two days earlier, European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had also criticized the U.S. decision and defended the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions or JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is called.

"The agreement remains the best and only way to ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Borrell told a United Nations Security Council meeting on Europe-UN relations.

The United States pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and put Iran under what it calls “maximum pressure” to renegotiate the deal and stop its missile program, as well as its interventions in other regional countries.

With reporting by Reuters