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How the world reacted to Trump's decision against Iran

  • 8 May 2018

US President Donald Trump announced the US was pulling out of the landmark international nuclear accord with Iran, declaring he was making the world safer but dealing a profound blow to allies and deepening his isolation on the world stage.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inspects an honour guard during his ceremonial reception in New Delhi, India, February 17, 2018. ( Reuters )

As President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday he was pulling the US out of the seven-party Iran nuclear deal, global reaction was mixed. 

But on balance, there has been strong support for the deal agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama, and little support for Trump's unilateral move.

Here is how the world reacted:

Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said there's a "short time" to negotiate with the countries remaining in the nuclear deal, warning his country could start enriching uranium more than ever in the coming weeks.

He spoke live on Iranian state television saying he would be sending Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to countries remaining in the accord.

He said, "I have ordered Iran's atomic organisation that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before." 

He added Iran would start this "in the next weeks."

Israel

In Jerusalem, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the US decision, saying it had been a "recipe for disaster."

France

France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that "France, Germany, and the UK regret the US decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake."

Germany

Germany, France and Britain will "do everything" to ensure that Iran remains in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed.

"We will remain committed to this agreement and will do everything to ensure that Iran complies with the deal," Merkel said, adding that Berlin had made the decision jointly with Paris and London.

UK

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned the US on Wednesday against trying to undermine the deal after pulling out of it and said Washington should "spell out" its plans.

"I urge the US to avoid taking any action that would hinder other parties from continuing to make the agreement work," Johnson told parliament, adding that Britain would stay committed to the deal as it remained "vital" to its national security.

UN

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) to abide by their commitments after Trump's decision.

"It is essential that all concerns regarding the implementation of the plan be addressed through the mechanisms established in the JCPOA. Issues not directly related to the JCPOA should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments," Guterres said in a statement.

Europe 

The French, British and German foreign ministers will meet Iranian representatives next week, France said.

"We will meet with my British and German colleagues on Monday, and also with representatives of Iran, to consider the entire situation," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio.

The bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the EU is "determined to preserve" the Iran nuclear deal despite US withdrawal.

Mogherini made a direct appeal to the Iranian people and their leaders to stick with the accord.

Turkey

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "This is not how international mechanisms work... cannot be annulled at will," referring to the US decision. 

He said the US would be "the losers" after pulling out. 

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, "The US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal unilaterally will cause instability and new conflicts. 

The multilateral deal will continue with other countries. Turkey will continue with its steady stance against all kinds of nuclear weapons."

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, May 8, 2018.(AA)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia said it "supports and welcomes" Trump's decision, adding it had initially supported the nuclear accord in the belief there's a need to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

In a statement published on the state-run news agency, it said Iran, however, exploited the economic benefits of sanctions being lifted to continue destabilising activities in the region through the development of ballistic missiles and support for militias – issues not addressed in the accord.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 

The UN nuclear watchdog confirmed on Wednesday that Iran is implementing "nuclear-related commitments" under its deal with world powers.

Yukiya Amano, Director-General IAEA reiterated in a statement that "Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime" and that the 2015 accord was "a significant verification gain".

Iraq

Iraqi President Fuad Masum expressed regret over the US decision.

"The (nuclear) agreement marked a major achievement in bolstering the chances of peace and progress for all the states of the region and the international community," Masum said in a statement, the first official Iraqi reaction to Trump's decision.

Russia 

Russia's foreign ministry said it was "deeply disappointed" by US decision, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"There are no – and can be no – grounds for breaking the joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA). The plan showed its full efficiency," the ministry said. 

"The United States is undermining international trust in the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Obama

Former US president Barack Obama said that Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal was a "serious mistake" that would erode America's global credibility.

He said that Trump's decision was "misguided," especially because Iran had been complying.

Obama also warned, "The consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility, and puts us at odds with the world's major powers."

Previous US President Barack Obama speaks the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear talks. April 2, 2015.(AP Archive)

China

China voiced regret over the decision and vowed to "safeguard" the agreement.

"China calls on all relevant parties to assume a responsible attitude, bear in mind the long-term and general interest, persist towards a political and diplomatic resolution and properly control disputes, so as to return at an early date to the right track of implementing the deal," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing.

China's special envoy for Middle East issues, Gong Xiaosheng, said all parties involved in the Iran nuclear pact should stick to the deal and use dialogue and negotiation to resolve the dispute, China's official Xinhua agency reported on Wednesday.

TRT World's Patrick Fok has more on China's reaction from Hong Kong.

Bahrain

Bahrain, which has accused Iran of arming and training the country's Shia protesters with the aim of destabilising the Sunni-ruled country, said that Trump's decision reflects the US commitment to confront Iran's "continuous attempts to spread terrorism in the region."

UAE 

The United Arab Emirates said it backed the US decision to withdraw from the accord and voiced support for President Donald Trump's strategy in dealing with Tehran.

The UAE foreign ministry urged the international community "to respond positively to President Trump's position to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction", the state news agency WAM reported.

India

India called for diplomacy to resolve the dispute over the Iran nuclear deal.

"All parties should engage constructively to address and resolve issues that have arisen with respect to the JCPOA," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

New Delhi has longstanding ties with Iran, which is also one of its top oil suppliers - but it has developed close political and security ties with the US and Israel, and the foreign ministry was measured in its response to the US decision.

TRT World's Dana Lewis reports from London.

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