Iran Nuclear Deal: Powers Seek To Save Agreement After US Exit

Western powers say they remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal – after the US announced it was withdrawing from the agreement.

Iran Nuclear Deal

The UK, France and Germany say they “will work with all remaining parties” and urged the US not to obstruct its implementation.

The other signatories to the 2015 deal – Russia and China – have also stressed their continuing support.

Iran says it is working to salvage the deal without US involvement.

“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,” the UK, France and Germany said in a joint statement.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in the coming weeks.

“If we achieve the deal’s goals in co-operation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place.”

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by the UN, US and EU

What reaction has there been worldwide?

The Russian foreign ministry said it was “deeply disappointed” by Mr Trump’s decision.

Japan said it would closely monitor the impact of the US withdrawal.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the EU was “determined to preserve” the agreement.

Former President Barack Obama – who played a key role in the agreement – said on Facebook that it was working and protected US interests.

“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.

A spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” at the announcement and called on the other signatories to abide by their commitments.

But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he “fully supports” Mr Trump’s “bold” withdrawal from a “disastrous” deal.

And Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional rival, says it “supports and welcomes” Mr Trump’s moves towards pulling out of the accord.

In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, US and EU that had crippled Iran’s economy were lifted.

The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, UK, France, China and Russia – plus Germany.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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