The United States’ decision to repeal sanctions exemptions that allowed foreign companies to work on Iran’s nuclear facilities will not affect the Iranian nuclear program, the Islamic Republic’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Thursday.

Iran flag at IAEA headquarters in Vienna 10/07/2019 REUTERS / Lisi Niesner

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On Wednesday, the United States said it would suspend the layoffs, thanks to which Russian, Chinese and European companies carried out work on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The role of foreign companies was combined in Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, and was intended to help ensure that Iran’s nuclear program was not used for the manufacture of weapons.

“The end of exemptions for conforming nuclear cooperation (the nuclear agreement) will in practice have no effect on Iran’s work,” said spokesman for the Iranian nuclear organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, in comments reported by the Isna news agency. . “It is clear that America wants its actions to have an effect in line with the pressure on Iran, but in practice, nothing will happen.”

Under the 2015 pact, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions. U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement in 2018, and has since reactivated sanctions. Iran has already reduced its commitments to the pact, but says it still complies with its general terms.

The exemptions, which officials say will expire on July 27, covered the conversion of the Arak heavy water research reactor, the supply of enriched uranium to its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and used reactor fuel to the outside.

Under the 2015 agreement, Iran has agreed to shut down its Arak reactor, located about 250 kilometers southwest of Tehran. The country was allowed to produce a limited amount of heavy water. Tehran is working on an adaptation of the reactor and says it will manufacture isotopes for medical and agricultural use.

Work on adapting the Arak reactor continues, albeit at a slow pace, because of sanctions and problems with compliance with the nuclear agreement, Kamalvandi said.

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