US applies economic pressure on Iran, in relation to Fordow nuclear facility

Today, the US will stop waiving sanctions on Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility. Despite the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear

Fordow conversion figure 2

Photo: Digital Globe

Today, the US will stop waiving sanctions on Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility.

Despite the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal last year, Washington has until now waived sanctions against Russian, Chinese and European firms engaging in non-proliferation nuclear work at Fordow. However, Iran’s heavy water stock, which can be used to power nuclear weapons, has reached 1.5 tonnes greater than the level permitted under the deal, proving to the US that this approach is not enough of a deterrent.

Iran’s tactic of progressively infringing on the agreement in retaliation to the US’s refusal to budge on economic sanctions has showed some cracks recently. Frustrated by the upsurge in cost of living—largely due to sanctions—tens of thousands of Iranians have been protesting on the streets since November 14. Despite over a hundred deaths and 7,000 arrests, the protests rage on.

Feeling the domestic pressure, expect Iran to ramp up its nuclear production as means to force the US to negotiate or Europe to counter the sanctions. With the US not showing signs of backing down, expect the two countries’ relations to move closer towards a cold dispute.

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