The United States has cancelled a sanctions waiver to allow research at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, announced U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday.

“The United States will terminate the sanctions waiver related to the nuclear facility at Fordow effective Dec. 15, 2019,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. “The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero. Iran originally constructed Fordow as a fortified underground bunker to conduct secret uranium enrichment work, and there is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site.”

“Iran should reverse its activity there immediately,” he added.

The move came as Iran announced and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that the regime resumed uranium enrichment at Fordow, which is underground, in violation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The United States withdrew from the accord in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it along with enacting new financial penalties against Iran.

On Monday, Pompeo accused Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of exercising “nuclear brinksmanship to extort the international community.”

“The United States rejects this approach completely, and call on all nations to do the same,” he said. “The only viable way forward is through comprehensive negotiations that address the full range of Iran’s threats in their entirety.”

Despite withdrawing from the 2015 agreement, the Trump administration has allowed civilian nuclear research at Iran’s Arak and Bushehr facilities. It has repeatedly renewed the waivers, most recently last month. The remaining three waivers expire in February.

“Cancellation of the civil nuclear cooperation waiver regarding the Iran nuclear program is welcome news. Iran’s behavior in the Middle East, in particular the attack on the Saudi oil field, does not justify continued waivers for their nuclear program,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“@LindseyGrahamSC, @RepLizCheney, and I applaud @realDonaldTrump & @SecPompeo for today’s news that the Trump administration will finally end the waiver for civil nuclear work at Iran’s Fordow facility, which was dug out of the side of a mountain to build nuclear weapons,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “Ending this waiver is another important step in tearing up the catastrophic-Obama Iran nuclear deal once and for all. The administration should now end the waivers for the remaining projects related to the deal, especially the Arak reactor, Iran’s heavy water reactor.”

“There is no justification for extending that waiver in light of recent confirmation that Iran is violating its heavy water obligations, let alone for letting Iran continue to build up its program—not at Fordow, and not at Arak,” he continued. “We will continue to urge the administration to stop issuing all civil-nuclear waivers and call on our colleagues to expeditiously take up our legislation, end these waivers, and hold Iran accountable.”

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