The U.S. will terminate a sanctions waiver for Iran's fuel enrichment plant at Fordow, citing Tehran's threats to increase uranium enrichment, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday.
The decision, Pompeo said, is in response to Iran's decision to resume uranium enrichment at Fordow, a move to build pressure on Europe to provide it with the economic benefits Iran is supposed to receive under the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers.
"The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero," Pompeo told reporters. "There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site. Iran should reverse its activity there immediately.”
The waiver will be eliminated Dec. 15, Pompeo said.
Iran began to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal in a retaliatory move following U.S. President Donald Trump's unilateral decision in May 2018 to withdraw from the agreement between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to ramp up pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
The deal allows Iran to reduce its commitments in case of other parties' breaches. Tehran insists the EU must act more aggressively regarding the implementation of its obligations, saying it will return to full compliance once Brussels offsets U.S. sanctions.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington