US allies regret Trump’s withdrawal from Iranian nuclear deal

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Washington: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Theresa May expressed their “regret and concern” at Trump’s decision, calling on Iran to maintain its commitments under the deal.

The three leaders said they were committed to implementing the deal despite Trump’s decision to pull out.

“We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal,” they said in a joint statement.

China on Wednesday voiced regret over President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and vowed to “safeguard” the agreement.

“China calls on all relevant parties to assume a responsible attitude, bear in mind the long-term and general interest, persist towards a political and diplomatic resolution and properly control disputes, so as to return at an early date to the right track of implementing the deal,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing.

Former US President Barack Obama also criticised his successor Donald Trump’s “misguided” decision to withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, saying the move was a “serious mistake” that risks eroding America’s credibility.

The Iranian nuclear deal was a signature foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama administration in 2015. It was negotiated and agreed to by Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany), granting Tehran sanctions relief and returning frozen assets in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme and international inspections.

Noting that all are aware of the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, Obama said it could embolden an already dangerous regime, threaten friends with destruction, pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region.

In probably his first statement on foreign policy after he left the White House in January 2017, Obama said there were few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for an even more destructive war in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump has announced that he was withdrawing the US from what he called the “decaying and rotten” Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama regime in 2015, putting him on a collision course with America’s closest allies.

Referring to his consultation with key American allies, Trump said it is that they cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the “decaying and rotten” structure of the current agreement.

The “disastrous” deal gave Iran millions in cash and did not prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, he added.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said: “The US has announced that it doesn’t respect its commitments.”

“I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready for action if needed so that if necessary we can resume our enrichment on an industrial level without any limitations.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” over Trump’s decision, calling on all other nations to support the agreement and preserve the deal.

Some other American allies, however, voiced their support for the decision, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised “courageous leadership” and “bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.

Iranian lawmakers lit a paper US flag on fire  at parliament on Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s nuclear deal pullout, shouting, “Death to America!” Lawmakers held the impromptu demonstration the day after Trump’s decision. They also burned a piece of paper representing the nuclear deal.

The chant “Death to America” long has been used in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also has been common to hear it within parliament.

Iran rival and long-time US ally, Saudi Arabia have welcomed Donald Trump’s decision to bring to an end to the 2015 nuclear deal.

“The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president towards withdrawing from the nuclear deal… and reinstating economic sanctions against Iran,” the Iran foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia accused Iran of “taking advantage of the revenue generated by the lifting of the sanctions to destabilise the region”, the foreign ministry said.

Riyadh’s allies in the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, also issued statements in support of Trump’s decision, which has driven a wedge a between the US, Europe and their allies in the region.