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EU expresses concern over US’ decision not to extend waivers regarding oil trade with Iran

"We remain deeply convinced that the JCPoA is key to increasing stability and security in the Middle East region", the statement says

BERLIN, May 4. /TASS/. The European Union’s foreign policy chief and top diplomats from Germany, France and the United Kingdom have expressed concern over the United States’ decision not to extend waivers concerning oil trade with Iran.

"We, the High Representative of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran," they said in a statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

"We remain deeply convinced that the JCPoA is key to increasing stability and security in the Middle East region," the statement says. "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."

"We note Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPoA, as repeatedly confirmed by the IAEA," the statement says. "We call upon Iran to continue implementing in full its commitments under the JCPoA as well as its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

US President Donald Trump on April 22 announced his decision not to extend waivers from the anti-Iranian oil sanctions that had been re-imposed in November 2018 when Washington banned import of Iranian oil but allowed biggest oil importers to continue to buy oil from Iran for six months.

Washington re-imposed anti-Iranian sanctions in November 2018 shortly after Trump took a decision on the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, also known as Iran nuclear deal. However a 180-day exception was made for eight countries and territories, namely China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey, importing hydrocarbons from Iran to prevent oil price hikes and give some time to search for alternatives.

US and the JCPoA

The JCPoA was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, in his words, leaves Iran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions. He promised to reinstate the former anti-Iranian sanctions and impose tighter ones. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his country’s commitment to the deal, saying Teheran will continue to implement its liabilities. He called on the European Union to guarantee observance of its interests to keep the deal in place.