In the aftermath of U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, reactions have poured in from across Europe.
CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports from Brussels.
It came as no surprise. Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday to take the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear deal and impose the “toughest sanctions possible” was met with force in Europe.
“The nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally,” Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Affairs Chief said. “The European Union is determined to preserve it. We expect the rest of the international community to continue to do its part to guarantee that it continues to be fully implemented, for the sake of our own collective security.”
Leaders of France, Germany and the U.K., signatories to the deal, also issued a joint statement underlining their continued support. With France’s President Emmanuel Macron also warning that nuclear non-proliferation is now at stake.
This seems to have been enough to keep Iran on side for now. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying on Wednesday that his government remains committed to the deal.
But European support could be tested if Trump follows through with retaliatory sanctions on economic interests in Iran, according to a Berlin based foreign policy expert.
“Iran expects a clear commitment and Iran also expects to see that the Europeans are defending the deal against the U.S. and not aligning themselves with them sometime down the road,” said Cornelius Adebahr, a foreign policy expert at Carnegie Europe. “So it’s a very political confrontation.”
And those EU next steps will be determined by the extent to which Donald Trump will make good on his threats, to punish those deemed in collusion with Iran. But if Iran stays in the deal, Europe will be bound, by principle, to play their part to ensure the protection of the bloc’s economic and security interests in the region.
George Szamuely on what’s next for the Iran Nuclear Deal
To discuss how the other signatories to the Iran Nuclear Deal are working to keep the accord intact after the U.S. withdrawal, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute with the London Metropolitan University.