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EU criticises US move to tighten Iran oil embargo

dpa
Brussels
The European Union “regrets” the United States’ decision to intensify its oil embargo against Iran, a European Commission spokesperson said on Tuesday, warning that the move would further undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
On Monday, the US announced that it will not extend waivers to eight countries that had been allowed to buy oil from Iran despite US sanctions that went into effect in November.
The announcement means that the waiver will not go beyond its May 2 expiration. In the future, those countries - which include China, Italy and Greece - would risk US sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil.
The move “risks undermining the implementation” of the nuclear deal, said EU foreign policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.
The EU will “continue to abide by [the deal] as long as Iran continues with full and effective implementation,” she added.
Tehran has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal if Washington tightens its sanctions aimed at Iranian oil exports.
Brian Hook, the top US envoy for Iran, told reporters that the US is not fazed by such threats.
“Iran is an outlaw regime. They try to hold countries hostage to blackmail,” Hook said. He added that Tehran’s “mafia-style behavior” would not stop the US from doing what it believes is the right thing.
The sanctions were imposed after US President Donald Trump decided unilaterally to withdraw from the deal. But Iran and the other countries continue to abide by the agreement, which places strict limits on Iran’s nuclear programme to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons.

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