Iran dismisses 'desperate' United States move to end nuclear waivers

Pompeo says US will begin reimposing sanctions on Iran

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"And that is an illicit program which continues to be rooted in a long-term ambition for nuclear weapons and, therefore, the idea that you would authorize worldwide support to legitimize that program is simply outrageous particularly when the [International Atomic Energy Agency] is going to report in the coming days about Iran's continued breach of its safeguards agreements by concealing nuclear material, nuclear activities and nuclear sites likely connected to its past work on nuclear weapons".

"The Iranian regime has continued its nuclear brinkmanship by expanding proliferation sensitive activities", he said in a statement.

Pompeo pushed to end the waivers in March but lost an interagency dispute to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who argued that the Trump administration already was under fire for its sanctions on Iran amid the burgeoning coronavirus outbreak.

Pompeo cited what he said was Iran's "continued nuclear escalation" as justification for the U.S. move, threatening "greater pressure" on Tehran if it does not comply with USA demands.

"Sanctions against dealing with Iran's nuclear organizations are US sanctions".

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The move will impact companies from Russia, China and the European Union three, also known as France, Germany and Italy, which will now have two months to convert these nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes, Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Chris Ford told reporters after the department's decision was announced.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the move applied to waivers allowing global work at Iran's Arak heavy-water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and scrap reactor fuel overseas.

The United States said Wednesday it was ending waivers in its sanctions for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord, bringing the deal further to the verge of collapse. Companies involved at these facilities now have a 60-day wind-down period to cease operations or face sanctions.

Pompeo also announced that the United States was imposing sanctions on two Iranian scientists, Majid Agha'i and Amjad Sazgar, who he claimed are leaders of Iran's nuclear enrichment program.

The same day as Pompeo's latest sanctions announcement, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unveiled over 100 missile-launching speedboats which it said would boost the country's naval power and allow them to challenge U.S. naval power in the Gulf.

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But the Trump administration until now had issued waivers to allow companies, primarily from Russian Federation, to keep carrying out the work of the agreement without risking legal ramifications in the world's largest economy. "Iran's continued nuclear escalation makes clear this cooperation must end".

"The Iranian regime's threats are created to intimidate nations into accepting Iran's usual violent behaviour for fear of something worse". "We're confident that the Iranians will not make that decision", Pompeo replied.

The Trump administration, which has close ties both to Israel and Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia, called the 2015 nuclear deal a "disaster" and said the larger issue was reducing Tehran's clout in the region.

"We have deprived the clerical rulers of vast amounts of revenue".

Hook said that Iran's economy is especially grim because the autocratic rule of the ayatollahs has proven to be an economic catastrophe for the Iranian people.

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The US, he said, will deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon.

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