It didn't take long for Europe's biggest nations - the other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran Nuclear Deal - as well as Russia, to slam Trump's unilateral decision to decertify the Iran agreement and, in the process, put the entire deal in jeopardy. Moments ago, in a joint statement, Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron all reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA, expressed their concern by the possible implications of Trump's decision not to recertify the deal, and urged the US to think hard before taking further steps that might undermine it further.
Here is the statement they released together moments ago:
We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications.
We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. 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.
At the same time as we work to preserve the JCPoA, we share concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional activities that also affect our European security interests. We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the US and all relevant partners. We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop de-stabilising actions and work towards negotiated solutions.
Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, responded to the Trump announcement, saying the eight inspections have so far shown Iran in compliance with the nuclear deal. "There have been no violations of any of the commitments included in the agreement," she said.
"The deal has prevented and continues to prvenet Iran from developing nuclear weapons."
She added that the US President has many powers but that no single country has the authority to nullify the deal. "The international community, and the E U with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is - and will continue to be - in place," she said.
Russia expressed similar sentiment, with Sergey Lavrov quoted by RIA as saying that all sides should stick to the deal and saying that the main task now is preventing the nuclear deal from collapsing.
Ironically, it was up to none other than Iran itself to remind Trump that the "deal" is not unilateral:
- ROUHANI: TRUMP DOESN'T KNOW NUCLEAR DEAL ISN'T UNILATERAL
- ROUHANI TO TRUMP: ONE COUNTRY CAN'T DICTATE TERMS OF IRAN DEAL
There was one nation that was delighted by today's events however: the true sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and around the globe, and certainly on September 11: Saudi Arabia. The Saudis welcomed the new US policy towards Iran and said lifting sanctions had allowed Iran to develop its ballistic missile program and step up its support for militant groups, state news agency SPA reported on Friday. The kingdom said Iran took advantage of additional financial revenues to support for the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah and the Houthi group in Yemen.
Actually, there was another. Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump for his speech, seeing an opportunity to change the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran as well as Iranian conduct in the region. "He boldly confronted Iran's terrorist regime (and) created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism," he said in a Facebook video.