European leaders and politicians on Tuesday strongly criticized US President’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, vowing more work for broader agreement.
Riding roughshod over opposition across the pond, President Donald Trump said in a televised speech that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a landmark agreement signed in 2015 by Iran and six world powers, including EU heavyweights Britain, France and Germany.
Trump added he will not sign the waiver of nuke-related sanctions against Iran. Trump said the agreement, struck under his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration, does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 nor its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
In a joint statement released by French President Emmanuel Macron‘s office, French, German and British leaders regretted the US decision.
Macron, Angela Merkel and Theresa May reiterated their “continued commitment” to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, that “…is of particular importance to our shared security”, they stressed.
Macron and his German and British partners “urge the United States to ensure that JCPOA’s structures are kept intact, and to avoid any action that would prevent its full implementation by other parties (and) … to do its utmost to preserve the nuclear non-proliferation advances achieved through JCPOA”.
They also called on Iran to “continue to respect its own obligations under the terms of the agreement, fully complying with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspection requirements” to enjoy sanctions removal.
The 2015 deal eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.
In a move to dismiss American administration’s concerns, French President said he was working with Germany and Britain on broader deal that should include “other major issues”.
“While our commitment to the security of our allies and partners in the region is unwavering, we must also rigorously address the widely-shared concerns about Iran’s ballistic agenda and its destabilizing regional activities, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Yemen,” the three leaders said in the statement.
A Downing Street spokesperson said British Prime Minister Theresa May held a joint telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron earlier on Tuesday evening.
“They discussed the US President’s announcement and agreed their continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the spokesperson said.
UNITED EUROPEAN APPROACH
European Council President Donald Tusk expressed his disapproval over Trump’s decision, saying the move “will meet a united European approach”.
“Policies of @realDonaldTrump on #IranDeal and trade will meet a united European approach,” Tusk tweeted, minutes after Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Iran deal.
“EU leaders will tackle both issues at the summit in Sofia next week,” Tusk added.
In tandem with Tusk’s disapproval over Trump’s announcement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini vowed that Europe will stand by the international nuclear accord with Iran.
“The EU is determined to preserve it,” she said in a live press statement in Rome. “We expect the rest of the international community to continue to preserve it, for the sake of collective security.”
“The nuclear accord belongs to the whole of the international community,” Mogherini added. “To the Iranian people I say: do not let anyone dismantle this deal, one of the greatest achievements of the international community.”
“I am particularly worried about tonight’s announcement of further sanctions,” she said, adding that the deal with Iran “is the culmination of 12 years of diplomacy.”
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also denounced Trump’s decision.
“No #IranDeal means more instability or war in the Middle East. I deeply regret the withdrawal by @realDonaldTrump from #JCPOA,” Michel wrote in a tweet.
The EU and its international partners must remain committed and Iran must continue to fulfill its obligations, he continued.
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