News ID: 264152
Published: 0153 GMT January 10, 2020

European powers reject Trump call to ditch Iran nuclear deal

European powers reject Trump call to ditch Iran nuclear deal

Germany, France, and Britain said they remain committed to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s plea for Europeans to quit the pact.

Trump, who withdrew the US in 2018 from the landmark nuclear deal signed in Vienna, said on Wednesday that "the time has come" for fellow signatories to “break away from the remnants” of the nuclear accord, AFP reported.

But the European parties showed no signs of pulling out of the nuclear agreement.

Germany said Friday it still wanted “to save” the deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Our goal is still to save the agreement because we remain convinced that it’s the right instrument to prevent Iran from possible nuclear armament,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said in Berlin.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes including power generation and its nuclear work has never had military dimensions. 

Breul’s comments echoed those by Britain and France, who have also stressed their continued commitment to the deal.

“We want to use all the possibilities offered by the [deal] to move toward a diplomatic solution,” Breul told reporters.

He urged Tehran “to return its commitments” under the 2015 agreement struck with the US, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China.

The deal has been unraveling ever since Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in May 2018.

A year after the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran started reducing its commitments to the accord and on Sunday announced it no longer felt compelled to stick to any limits for making the enriched uranium needed for nuclear power.

The European signatories are expected to decide in the coming days whether to take action against Iran.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned that Iran’s moves regarding the JCPOA were becoming “acute” and that signatories were “looking hard” at what steps to take.

But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal remained “the best arrangement currently available.”

France on also Thursday said it remained “committed to the framework of the Vienna Iran nuclear accord.”

French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muehll added that France "continues to work with the other parties" to the deal.

EU President Charles Michel defended the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday and warned Iran against taking any "irreversible action".

Britain, France, and Germany have been trying to save the nuclear deal and have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran has rejected the European signatories’ steps as insufficient and, in fact, said Europe has scaled back its commitments under the deal.



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