WORLD

UN warns US actions 'may impede' Iran nuclear deal

The U.S. decision not to extend waivers critical to the implementation of the landmark nuclear pact between world powers and Iran "may impede" the agreement, the UN warned Wednesday.

UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council the Trump administration's decisions not to renew sanctions waivers to allow the import of Iranian crude oil, as well as waivers for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action's non-proliferation activities, could very well scuttle the agreement altogether.

"These actions may impede the ability of Iran and other member states to implement certain provisions of the plan," she said.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres "encourages Iran to continue implementing all of its nuclear-related commitments despite the considerable challenges it faces," said DiCarlo, also voicing regret at a number of retaliatory measures Iran has vowed to take unless it receives the intended benefits under the 2015 agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump did not renew the oil waivers for seven countries and Taiwan that expired at the beginning of May.

He further chose to end waivers that allowed Iran to send refined uranium out of the country in exchange for unprocessed yellowcake uranium powder, a key component of the deal Iran struck with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and the EU.

Iran is set to exceed on Thursday the pact's cap on the amount of low-enriched uranium it can possess. It has further threatened to enrich uranium beyond the 3.67% levels set in the agreement.

European nations urged Iran to remain in the agreement, and refrain from taking escalatory actions.

The European Union's UN Ambassador, Joao Vale de Almeid, emphasized during remarks before the Security Council that there is at present "no credible, peaceful alternative" to the existing nuclear deal.

"The EU together with other partners of the international community will continue to work relentlessly to preserve the JCPOA as long as Iran abides by its commitments," he said, using the deal's acronym.

Iran received billions of dollars in economic relief from economic sanctions in exchange for accepting unprecedented curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.

But the economic benefits it has reaped have dwindled down amid the Trump administration's push to scrap the agreement in an effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table to address not only its nuclear program, but other activities Washington considers to be destabilizing.

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