President Hassan Rowhani of Iran on Tuesday welcomed European Union’s support for his country’s nuclear deal with international powers, in spite President Donald Trump casting doubt on the U.S. commitment to the agreement.
“The unanimous support for the agreement, particularly from the Europeans, is an important political achievement for Iran,” Rowhani said in a statement on the presidency’s website on Tuesday.
Foreign ministers of the EU signalled their resolve to keep the Iran nuclear deal intact on Monday, after Trump said he will urge Congress to toughen U.S. laws aimed at Iran.
Trump’s move stopped short of pulling the plug on the nuclear agreement altogether.
After his announcement, support for the deal flowed in from several countries, including from U.S. allies France, Germany and Britain.
Rowhani said a further accomplishment regarding the deal is that it has isolated Trump, who was looking to sabotage the agreement.
NAN reports that the EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg said a failure to uphold an international agreement backed by the UN Security Council could have serious consequences for regional peace.
“As Europeans together, we are very worried that the decision of the U.S. president could lead us back into military confrontation with Iran,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters.
After a closed-door meeting chaired by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Iran, the ministers issued a joint statement saying the 2015 deal was key to preventing the global spread of nuclear weapons.
“The EU is committed to the continued full and effective implementation of all parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the ministers said, referring to the formal name of the accord with Iran agreed in July 2015 in Vienna.
“We’ll see what phase two is. Phase two might be positive, and it might be very negative. It might be a total termination. That’s a very real possibility.
“Some would say that’s a great possibility,” the U.S. president said in Washington. He repeated his contention that the JCPOA was “a horrible deal for the United States.”
EU foreign ministers said the accord was crucial to opening up Iran’s $400-billion economy and finding a new market for European investors.
Unlike the United States, the EU saw relations with Iran flourish in the late 1990s until revelations about Tehran’s nuclear plans in 2002.
“Non-proliferation is a major element of world security and rupturing that would be extremely damaging,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters.
“We hope that Congress does not put this accord in jeopardy.”
Mogherini said she would travel to Washington early in November to try to muster support for the accord. (dpa/NAN)