WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the US would abandon the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement that placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” Trump said in a televised address. “I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” he added.
The World reacts:
Iran reacted angrily to the decision, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling it an act of ‘Psychological warfare’ against Iran.
“I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain,” he added.
Members of Iran’s parliament burned a US flag and a copy of the nuclear deal during a parliament session on Wednesday.
“The biggest damage of the Iran deal was legitimising and sitting at the negotiating table with America,” said Iran’s army chief.
Former US president Barack Obama lambasted Trump’s decision to withdraw, calling it a ‘serious mistake’.
“..today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated.” he said.
The Israeli government ordered to “unlock and ready (bomb) shelters” within hours of Trump’s announcement, raising fears of a possible military flare-up in the region.
“For months now, Iran has been transferring lethal weaponry to its forces in Syria, with the purpose of striking at Israel,” Netanyahu said. “We will respond mightily to any attack on our territory.”
Israel fully supports @realDonaldTrump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran. The deal didn’t push war further away; it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression; it dramatically increased it. pic.twitter.com/sxJHocLqu7
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 8, 2018
Russia: Acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Russia intended to abide by the JCPOA, Interfax news agency reported. In a statement, The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was “extremely concerned” and “deeply disappointed” by the US pursuing its “narrow” interests, “grossly violating the norms of international law”.
“Washington’s actions undermine international confidence in the International Atomic Energy Agency. The decisions are a new confirmation of Washington’s incompetence,” the statement said.
China: China’s special envoy for the Middle-East Gong Xiaosheng urged all parties to adhere to the JCPOA and to resolve disputes through dialogue. Terming the nuclear deal “very serious and important,” he said it helped promote peace and stability in the Middle-East.
“Having a deal is better than no deal. Dialogue is better than confrontation,” he said at a press conference in Iran on Wednesday, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Turkey: State broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Wednesday that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told CNN that Trump’s decision to abandon the deal represented US failure to stay faithful to the agreement it had reached with other members.
Japan: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday that Japan would closely monitor the impact of US decision. According to a statement released by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Kono also said that Japan would continue to hold talks with relevant countries towards maintaining the 2015 deal.
UK, Germany, France:
“We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA (deal) can remain intact and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal,” the leaders of Britain, Germany and France said in a joint statement provided by Prime Minister Theresa May’s office.
“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.”
The joint statement also urged Iran to “to show restraint” in response to Donald Trump’s decision.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia backed the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. “Iran used economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to continue its activities to destabilize the region, particularly by developing ballistic missiles and supporting terrorist groups in the region,” read a statement released by the Saudi foreign ministry.
UAE: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also supported the latest US move, adding that “Iran interpreted the JCPOA as concurrence of its regional hegemony. An aggressive Iran was emboldened as a result & its ballistic missile program became both offensive & exportable.”
Iran’s rhetoric & aggressive regional actions were the background to a flawed deal. The veneer of Tehran’s compliance contradicted its bellicose policies. President Trump’s decision is the correct one.
— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) May 8, 2018