World Leaders React US Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal

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On May 8, US President Donald Trump officially announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ordered to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Countries, including other members of the Iran nuclear deal immediately reacted this decision.

On May 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s announcement saying it is “correct, intelligent and courageous”, according to The Jewish Week newspaper. Netanyahu pointed out that Israel had been “opposed the nuclear deal from the start”.

“The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. 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, and we see this across the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

Saudi Arabia joined Israel and welcomed the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal. On May 8, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir twitted:

On May 8, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on “the international community and the other states that are party to the agreement, to support President Trump’s stand for making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, in order to maintain global security and stability”, the state-run Emirates news agency WAM reported quoting the official statement.

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash also expressed his support to Washington’s decision.

China didn’t support the US decision over the Iran nuclear deal and opposed “the imposition of unilateral sanctions and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction by any country in accordance with its domestic laws”. On May 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang stressed that China would continue relations with Iran:

“China and Iran maintain normal economic ties and trade. We will continue with our normal and transparent practical cooperation with Iran on the basis of not violating our international obligations.”

On May 10, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is “concerned about the decision by the US President’s Administration” stressing that it is  “a major violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which approved that plan and made it part of international law”.

“Unilateral American sanctions against Iran, if Washington tries again to apply this portion of restrictions extraterritorially, will, of course, undermine in the most serious manner the general situation in the region and in relations between the US and Europe, the US and Russia”, Lavrov said.

On May 8, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement following the US announcement. According to the statement, Germany, France and the UK called on all the other members of the JCPOA to stay in the agreement.

“Together, we emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPoA. This agreement remains important for our shared security. We recall that the JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in resolution 2231. This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear programme. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility,” the statement reads.

Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas called Trump’s decision “not surprising” and “hard to understand” according to the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle report on May 9.

“Our goal is clear: We will continue to abide by the nuclear agreement,” Maas said.

“It’s in our own security interests. So we’ll work to ensure the agreement has a future. It’s the successful result of many years of diplomatic negotiations. And, above all, it works.”

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed the “disagreement with the Donald Trump’s decision”, which must be “negotiated” to change the situation.

On May 9, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian pointed out that the nuclear deal “is still not dead”, but described the US sanctions “unacceptable”, according to France 24 news agency.

On May 9, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson gave a statement to underline that Trump’s decision “makes no difference” to the British stance over the JCPOA and the deal will “remain vital for our national security and the stability of the Middle East”.

North Korea, which moves “towards denuclearization”, hasn’t commented the Trump decision over the withdrawal from the JPOA. The silence seems to be interesting as during the becoming June 10 North Korea-USA summit, Trump aims to guard against Kim’s nuclear weapons programs.

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  • paul ( original )

    The more I think about this development the more I think that Trump and
    the USA have come out the big winners, at least by their own measure.
    Consider what is happening. Iran is still in the deal and so all the
    concessions they have made still apply. The USA is out of the deal
    and so is free to do what it pleases and apply even more pressure and
    obtain more concessions. I don’t see how this is not a big win for
    the USA. Surely breaking your side of agreement while the others side
    still continues to honour it is to get all the benefits and none of
    the costs.

    • Serious

      That’s exactly why Iran must not trust the so called “world leaders” and must withdraw as well from the deal and start build nuclear weapons. Of course, they must do that, if they are really able to created nuclear weapons and they are not bluffing.

      Otherwise, Iran loses on both side : on one side, they can’t make nuclear weapons and, on the other, they can be nuked by USA.

      • paul ( original )

        My guess is that the Iranians will not do as you suggest. I don’t say this because I have any more information or knowledge than others, it is just the way I assess the disposition of the Iranian leadership. I don’t want to be too critical but shall we just say they are more full of words than actions.

        • Serious

          Surely, Iranians can’t build nuclear weapons. If they lied on their ability to build ballistic nuclear weapons, then they have no option. That’s why I don’t like liers.

    • JPH

      China, Russia and EU stick to the deal and US lost any credibility as a party one can close deals with to which it will comply?
      US using extortion to force others to comply with its illegal sanctions will serve to hasten the demise of the US and the US$ as a reserve currency, because having seen how the US exploits US$ clearing to impose extraterritorial/extrajudicial sanctions the rest of the world will definitely look for alternatives to the US$.

      • paul ( original )

        What you write is a possible outcome but not one I expect. The future is
        always by definition unknowable . However, I have been hearing
        predictions of American decline, both financial and political, for at
        least ten years. I don’t perceive any real decline, in fact with
        fluctuations I only perceive America getting more assertive and
        controlling. In the long run everything changes but that can take
        many decades or even more. I don’t have any powers of prediction
        beyond my own judgement but my feeling is that American dominance
        will continue for a long time to come.

        • JPH

          That very aggressiveness is more a sign of desperation. Kind of NOW or NEVER MORE. You may have noted US debt surging form 8 till now 20 trillion in 8 years indicating that there is no real recovery but a debt funded fake recovery. When interest rate rises the debt servicing will quickly strangulate the economy. Current debt to GDP is over 100% even in the ‘cleaned up’ US book keeping and actually more, but add to that unfunded liabilities (at federal, state and city level) and the projected deficit at 1 trillion a year. The only way to serve such debt is trough inflation, but that will increase interests rates too.

          You are right that any empire will have to face it demise. Read Paul Kennedy’s “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_the_Great_Powers

          In that book from 1987 Kennedy characterizes the behavior of such empire when it is becoming clear their demise as nearing by ‘Imperial Overstretch”, which is exactly what you are observing. Extreme emphasis on unsustainable military might only serving to accelerate its own demise.

          • paul ( original )

            All what you say is possible. For over 10 years I have been listening to
            Peter Schiff who has been making the same economic predictions as you
            are. It is not that I think what is being said is implausible, rather
            I don’t foresee the dramatic collapse that others see. Certainly
            there will be ‘crises ‘, but crises are always ever threatening.
            Even in the event of some big event, will this lead to an American
            decline? It is entirely possible that dramatic event will effect
            others even more than the USA, so it will still be dominant.

            But as I say I don’t have certainty. One thing for sure I don’t see a
            very good future for the insignificant people like us. By degrees I
            expect our lot in life to degrade and become more marginal.

  • Serious

    Iran must now start building nuclear weapons if they can do it. USA withdraw from the deal and show that USA is the ennemy of Iranians.

  • Serious

    If I was Iran, I will not trust the “world leaders”. They will do nothing if USA decide to nuke Iran with no reason to do so.

  • JPH