Brussels– The European Union on Monday said it regretted the US’ decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran through the Washington government’s withdrawal from a nuclear agreement that had been reached by Iranian leaders, China, France, Russia, the UK, the US, Germany and the EU.

The bloc communicated its decision in a joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany and UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Efe reported.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the statement said.

US President Donald Trump announced in May that he was withdrawing the US from the 2015 accord with Iran, Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China.

The deal, which was negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Instead of immediately reimposing the sanctions in May, the Trump administration gave companies doing business with Iran two “wind-down” periods.

Monday ends another 90-day period after which Washington can sanction transactions with US dollar banknotes; trade in gold and precious metals; direct or indirect sales of graphite, raw or semi-finished metals and Iran’s automotive sector.

Additionally, licenses for exporting commercial aircraft to Iran, as well as related parts and services, are set to be revoked.

The EU said it would continue working to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme remained solely peaceful, as had been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency on 11 occasions.

It said the JCPOA was an essential component of the world’s nuclear non-proliferation project which was vital for global security.

“We expect Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA,” the statement added. (IANS)