Iran to continue uranium enrichment despite U.S. pressure

The US will also revoke two waivers that allowed Iran to ship its excess heavy water for storage and swap its enriched uranium for natural uranium

Latest speech from Iranian Parliamentary Speaker, Larijani, was brought into light by a semi-official Iranian News Agency ISNA on Saturday (May 4th), after Washington had intensified its campaign on Friday (May 3rd) to force Iran to stop expanding its only nuclear reactor and to stop producing low-level uranium. "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", the statement added. "It is clear that over this period there has been a serious adaptation to this illegal trick by the United States", Tasmin News Agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

The department announced that the waivers would allow certain parties to the 2015 deal to conduct research and do non-proliferation work at three sites in Iran without fear of sanctions - Arak, Fordow and Bushehr.

They also said they were concerned by the United States decision "not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]" - the title of the nuclear deal.

Some observers believe the Trump team is trying to goad Iran into breaking the terms of the nuclear deal, thereby causing it to collapse and significantly deepening Tehran's worldwide isolation.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said live on television on Saturday that Iran must counter United States sanctions by continuing to export its oil as well as boosting non-oil exports. "So we have to increase our hard currency income and cut our currency expenditures", Rouhani said.

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Speaking to ISNA, Chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iranian Parliament, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said Iran should not define its overall foreign relations policies based on its response to the U.S. hostile approach.

Friday's move, which Rouhani made no direct reference to, was the third punitive U.S. action taken against Iran in as many weeks. Those waivers expired on May 1 and now those buying Iranian oil are under threat of United States sanctions.

The Trump administration also took the unprecedented step of designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

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.

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