US allies in Europe vow to stand by Iran nuclear deal

Laura Smith-Spark — CNN Oct 14, 2017

The leaders of Britain, Germany and France have declared their backing for the Iran nuclear deal renounced by President Donald Trump, saying it is “in our shared national security interest.”

Trump announced Friday that he would not recertify the multilateral agreement, claiming Iran had not kept its end of the 2015 deal and called on Congress and US allies to address its “many serious flaws” or see it “terminated.”

But in a joint declaration issued the same day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said they stood committed to the agreement “and its full implementation by all sides.”

“The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step toward ensuring that Iran’s nuclear (program) is not diverted for military purposes,” they said.

The leaders did not directly comment on Trump’s decision but said they “are concerned by the possible implications” of it.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, also voiced strong EU support for the deal and dismissed the idea that any single party could end it.

“It is not a bilateral agreement, it does not belong to any single country, and it is not up to any single country to terminate it,” she said.

“It is a robust deal” that “is working and delivering,” Mogherini said. “We cannot afford to dismantle it.”

‘Consider the implications’

Announcing his move, Trump cited “multiple violations of the agreement.” However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, American allies and the US government all have said Tehran is complying with the official pact.

May, Merkel and Macron reiterated in their declaration that Iran had not been found in breach of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and that it had been unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council.

“Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement,” they said.

Both May and Macron had spoken with Trump in the days before his announcement to urge him to maintain his country’s commitment to the deal, which the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the EU and Iran signed in 2015.

Trump’s announcement means Congress now has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions against Iran, a move that could leave the United States in violation of the agreement.

In the meantime, Trump said the United States would get tough on aspects of Iran’s behavior that are not covered in the pact, which limits Iran’s nuclear program in return for an easing of international sanctions.

Support for Trump

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