Washington: Top American allies, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada regretted and expressed concerns over the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
“It is with regret and concern that we, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States of America from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday.
In a joint statement issued soon after Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal yesterday, the leaders emphasized their continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“This agreement remains important for our shared security. 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 three leaders said.
Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US was having consultations with its top allies.
“It has been already in consultations with European and other allies before today’s announcement because we were trying to be fully transparent with them,” Bolton told reporters at the White House.
The President already made some calls yesterday and will make more. “I’m going to be discussing this tomorrow morning with my British, French, and German counterparts, so we’re already underway,” he said.
Leaders of the three countries encouraged Iran to show restraint in response to the decision by the US. Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal, cooperating fully and in a timely manner with IAEA inspection requirements, they reiterated.
“There must be no doubt: Iran’s nuclear programme must always remain peaceful and civilian. While taking the JCPOA as a base, we also agree that other major issues of concern need to be addressed,” the statement said
“A long-term framework for Iran’s nuclear programme after some of the provisions of the JCPOA expire in 2025 will have to be defined. We must also address shared concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its destabilising regional activities, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. We have already started constructive and mutually beneficial discussions on these issues, and the E3 is committed to continuing them,” they said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland supported an effective rules-based international order, saying that the JCPOA was essential to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability and to ensure greater regional and global security.
“Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. The JCPOA has subjected Iran’s nuclear programme to a rigorous and unprecedented international verification regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” she said.
The JCPOA was not perfect but it helped curb a real threat to international peace and security, Freeland said.
“Canada regrets that the United States has decided to withdraw from the JCPOA, particularly given that, according to the IAEA, Iran continues to implement its JCPOA commitments. Canada condemns Iran’s ongoing development of its ballistic missile programme and its ballistic missile launches, which are destabilising for the region. Canada maintains sanctions that target Iran’s ballistic missile programmes,” she added. PTI