EU tells Trump he lacks the power to unilaterally end the Iran nuclear deal

The European Union has rebuked Donald Trump over his move to break the Iran nuclear deal, telling the US president he does not have the power to unilaterally scrap the international agreement.

 

The European Union has rebuked Donald Trump over his move to break the Iran nuclear deal, telling the US president he does not have the power to unilaterally scrap the international agreement.

In a statement delivered on Tuesday night EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the US should reconsider its position, but that it was not within the power of the country’s president to end the accord.

Mr Trump ended the US’s commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated between Iran, the EU, US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany, which was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015.

He claims the deal is “decaying and rotten” and says it is “an embarrassment” to him “as a citizen”. In the US the deal is politically-charged because it is seen as a key legacy as Barack Obama. It is also opposed by Israel, a close US ally in the region.

Speaking in Rome the EU’s Ms Mogherini said Europe “regrets” Mr Trump’s new policy, but added: “As we have always said the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally.

“It has been unanimously endorsed by the UN security council resolution 2231, it is a key element of the global non-proliferation architecture, it is relevant in itself, but even more so in these times of encouraging symbols on the prospect of the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

“The nuclear deal with Iran is crucial for the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire region. As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments as it is doing so far the European union will remain committed to the continued, full, and effective implementation for the nuclear deal.”

 

She added that the EU trusts the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has repeatedly said Iran is sticking to its side of the bargain. She also said she was “particularly worried” about new sanctions on Iran announced by the US, stating that “the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the agreement”.

“Let me conclude with a message to Iranian citizens and leaders, to each and every one of them: do not let anyone dismantle this agreement,” she said.

“It is one of the biggest achievements that diplomacy has ever delivered and we have built this together. It is the demonstration that win-win solutions are possible through dialogue, engagement, and perseverance. That common ground that be found, even when positions and interest differ – that respect can be a universal language. This deal belongs to each and every one of us. Stay true to our commitments and we will stay true to ours and together with the rest of the international community we will preserve this nuclear deal.”

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, who expended significant political capital to broker the deal, echoed the EU’s approach, stating: “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.”

Under the deal Iran has agreed to dramatically cut its enriched uranium stockpiles and its capacity to enrich uranium in the future. The IAEA gained full access to Iranian nuclear facilities under the deal to monitor its implementation.

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