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US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said he is cancelling one of four sanctions waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work with Iran’s civilian nuclear programme without US penalties.

The waivers are among the last remaining components of the 2015 nuclear deal the Trump administration withdrew from last year.

Mr Pompeo said the waiver for Iran’s Fordow uranium enrichment facility will be cancelled on 15 December. Iran recently announced it would resume uranium enrichment at the facility, which is built into a mountain.

Republican members of Congress have been pressing Mr Pompeo to eliminate all the waivers but have most strenuously objected to the one that allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work at Fordow.

The waivers for Fordow, and for the Bushehr nuclear power station, the Arak heavy water plant and the Tehran Research Reactor, were last extended in late October.

Iran said last week it had officially started construction of a second Russia-supplied nuclear power plant at the Bushehr nuclear station on the Persian Gulf coast.

Critics of the 2015 nuclear deal with the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany have long argued that the waivers should be revoked because they give Iran access to technology that could be used for weapons.

Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019
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