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Exclusive: U.S. to renew waivers allowing non-proliferation work with Iran - sources

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Exclusive: U.S. to renew waivers allowing non-proliferation work with Iran - sources
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger   -   Copyright  LEONHARD FOEGER(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to allow Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear facilities that would make it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The Trump administration, which last year pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, will let the work go forward by issuing waivers to sanctions that bar non-U.S. firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said the sources on condition of anonymity.

AEOI oversees the Arak heavy water research reactor and the Fordow fuel enrichment plant.

Under the 2015 deal, the Arak reactor was to be redesigned to render it unable to make bomb-grade plutonium under normal operation, while the Fordow plant was to stop enriching uranium and be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology center.

Chinese state-owned China National Nuclear Corp has done non-proliferation work at Arak, and Russia’s Rosatom has done it at Fordow.

The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment. Rosatom did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China National Nuclear Corp could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Tim Gardner; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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