EU and Britain condemn U.S. oil and nuclear sanctions on Iran

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The United States acted on Friday to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant even as it granted waivers allowing some countries to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with the country.

The United States, which a year ago withdrew from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, has told buyers of Iranian oil to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

"We are permitting the following nonproliferation activities to continue, for a renewable duration of 90 days", listing the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Fordow facility, the Arak reactor and the Tehran Research Reactor, the State Department said in a statement. "Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity", the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

"Under the [nuclear accord] Iran can produce heavy water and this is not in violation of the agreement".

In pulling out of the JCPOA, Trump said the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and he accused Tehran of violating the "spirit" of the accord by financing Islamic militants in the region.

According to nuclear inspectors, Tehran has kept its nuclear program within the main limits imposed by the accord.

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'The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 14 reports, ' it said. The relevant statement is published on the State Department website.

'We also note with concern the decision by the United States not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),' it added.

On April 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US sanctions will be reimposed on all countries that import oil from Iran since May 2. "Together, we emphasise our continued commitment to the JCPoA, a crucial element of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and essential for our national and shared European security".

"America is trying to decrease our foreign reserves ..."

In April, the US announced that it made a decision to end the waivers from sanctions for countries still buying oil from Iran, aiming to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the government its main source of revenue. "We have no way but to resist and unite", Rouhani said in a televised speech on Saturday.

Friday's USA move, which Mr Rouhani made no direct reference to, was the third punitive action Washington has taken against Iran in as many weeks. It also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.