International reaction: U.S. withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

World Today

United Nations compound in Geneva

Following U.S. President Trump’s announcement the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, international reaction has been swift – both in support and against the decision. Here is a collection of responses from world leaders.

Iranian President Rouhani says Iran will remain in JPCOA without U.S.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on May 8, 2018 shows President Hassan Rouhani giving a speech on Iranian TV in Tehran. (AFP PHOTO)

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran would remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons.

“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place. … By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

“I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain,” he added.

Rouhani assured ordinary Iranians, frustrated by high unemployment and stagnant living standards, that Trump’s decision would have no impact on Iran’s oil-reliant economy.

“Our heroic people will not be affected by this psychological attack … Iran’s economic progress will continue. Our people should not be worried at all,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises Trump’s decision

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

A picture taken in Jerusalem of a TV shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivering a televised speech on Israeli TV after the US President announced his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, on May 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX /

Israel’s Prime Minister was one of the first world leaders to respond to President Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal.

CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports from Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu has been a leading critic of the deal, saying it did not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear-weapons capability or address Iran’s other activities across the region or its long-range missile program.

“The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it, and we see this across the entire Middle East,” he said in televised comments following Trump’s announcement. “Despite the deal, the terrorist regime in Tehran is developing a ballistic missiles capability, ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads far and wide, to many parts of the world.”

Netanyahu said that leaving the nuclear deal unchanged along with Iran’s other operations in the region “is a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world.”

The European Union was quick to respond to President Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal.
CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports from Brussels.

Joint statement from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron following President Trump’s statement on Iran

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.

Together, we emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPoA. This agreement remains important for our shared security. We recall that the JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in resolution 2231. 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.

According to the IAEA, Iran continues to abide by the restrictions set out by the JCPoA, in line with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The world is a safer place as a result. Therefore we, the E3, will remain parties to the JCPoA. 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 including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement.

We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPoA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal. After engaging with the US Administration in a thorough manner over the past months, we call on the US to do everything possible to preserve the gains for nuclear non-proliferation brought about by the JCPoA, by allowing for a continued enforcement of its main elements.

We encourage 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. The IAEA must be able to continue to carry out its long-term verification and monitoring programme without restriction or hindrance. In turn, Iran should continue to receive the sanctions relief it is entitled to whilst it remains in compliance with the terms of the deal.

There must be no doubt: Iran’s nuclear program 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. A long-term framework for Iran’s nuclear programme after some of the provisions of the JCPOA expire, after 2025, will have to be defined. Because our commitment to the security of our allies and partners in the region is unwavering, we must also address in a meaningful way 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 with key partners and concerned states across the region.

We and our Foreign Ministers will reach out to all parties to the JCPoA to seek a positive way forward.


“China regrets the decision made by the U.S. side. The JCPOA is a multilateral agreement reached by the P5+1, the European Union and Iran through negotiations and endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231. All relevant parties should implement the JCPOA in good faith and ensure its integrity and sanctity. This will contribute to upholding the international non-proliferation regime and promoting peace and stability in the Middle East and play an exemplary role for the political settlement of hot-spot issues.

Under the current circumstances, China calls on all relevant parties to assume a responsible attitude, bear in mind the long-term interests and overall picture, stay committed to the political and diplomatic solution, properly handle differences and come back to the right track of continuing with their efforts to implement the JCPOA at an early date. China will maintain dialogue and consultation with all relevant parties and stay committed to upholding and implementing the JCPOA in an objective, unbiased and responsible attitude,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang on Wednesday.



The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a statement that Moscow is deeply disappointed by the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and there are no grounds for such a move.

“Iran strictly adheres to its obligations, which is regularly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We fully support and welcome this,” the ministry said, adding that Washington’s action undermined international trust in the IAEA.

The United States is once again acting contrary to the opinion of most countries, caring about its own interests, and grossly violating the norms of international law, it said.

Additional reporting by Xinhua, The Associated Press and Reuters.