Iran deal 'not dead' despite US exit

May 10, 2018, 07:02 IST | Agencies

European leaders try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal after the US announced its withdrawal

Iran politicians set fire to the US flag in Parliament and chant 'death to America' over Trump's decision to exit nuke deal. Pics/AFP
Iran politicians set fire to the US flag in Parliament and chant 'death to America' over Trump's decision to exit nuke deal. Pics/AFP

France's foreign minister said that the 2015 nuclear restraint deal with Iran was "not dead" despite Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out from the agreement, and added that French President Emmanuel Macron would speak later in the day to Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

"The deal is not dead. There's an American withdrawal from the deal, but the deal is still there," the minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told French radio station RTL. The EU is "determined to preserve" the Iran nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal, the bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini has said, pledging to "stay true" if Tehran stuck to its commitments.

Donald Trump

The 2015 accord "is delivering on its goal which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons, the European Union is determined to preserve it," Mogherini said. EU President Donald Tusk said the Iran deal would be on the agenda when the bloc's leaders meet for a summit in Sofia next week. Mogherini made a direct appeal to Iran to stick with the accord after Trump said Washington was ditching what he called a "defective" agreement.

An EU official said the European Commission, the bloc's executive, would meet next week to discuss possible countermeasures to US sanctions. France, Germany and Britain said they were committed to implementing the deal. "Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement," said a joint statement.

'Serious mistake'
Barack Obama

Former US president Barack Obama made a rare public criticism of his successor, describing Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal as "misguided" and a "serious mistake." "The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working," Obama said in a statement, referring to the deal his administration brokered in 2015. "That is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current US secretary of defence." "That is why the announcement is so misguided," he added. "I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake."

Iran threatens to quit nuke deal
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday that Tehran would quit a key nuclear deal unless European signatories offered solid guarantees that trade relations would continue after the US withdrew.

What the world said
Saudi Arabia
'The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president towards withdrawing from the nuclear deal... and reinstating economic sanctions against Iran'

Syria
'Damascus strongly condemns the US president's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, which shows once again that the United States is not honouring its commitments and international agreements'

Russia
'Deeply disappointed by the decision of US President Donald Trump to unilaterally refuse to carry out commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action'

Voices
Geng Shuang, China's foreign ministry spokesman
'China will continue to uphold an impartial, objective and responsible attitude, remain in dialogue with all parties and continue to devote itself to safeguard and implement the deal'

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
'Israel fully supports President Trump's bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran'

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