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EU ‘fully committed’ to Iran nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during a vote of confidence session in the President's cabinet in Tehran on August 20, 2017 ( Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency )
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech in the President's cabinet in Tehran on 20 August 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump’s formal decertification of the Iran nuclear deal looks set to isolate America on the world stage even further after the EU gave strong backing to the treaty signed by Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany, known as the P5+1 countries.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said today that she expected strong backing from EU foreign ministers for the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Speaking to reporters before a foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, Mogherini said:

It’s an agreement that is working. It’s an agreement that we need for our security, and I would expect from the ministers today a strong signal of European unity and its support and the full commitment to have it implemented by all sides.

The EU chief emphasised comments she made following Trump’s decision to decertify the deal last Friday. Mogherini stated that Trump cannot unilaterally terminate the deal, telling reporter in Brussels: “This deal is not a bilateral agreement, this is not an international treaty … so it is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort.”

A statement by a spokesperson said British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call yesterday “discussed Iran and President Trump’s decision not to recertify the nuclear deal.”

Read: Trump lays out new Iran strategy Friday, complicating European ties

“They agreed the UK and Germany both remained firmly committed to the deal. They also agreed the international community needed to continue to come together to push back against Iran’s destabilising regional activity, and to explore ways of addressing concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme,” it added.

Other than from the US, Israel and a number of countries in the Gulf, there remains strong support for the deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump’s decertification of the deal, by itself, will not mean the end of the agreement; opposition in the US Congress against the deal struck by former US President Barack Obama, prompted American lawmakers to institute a law requiring the president to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal.

Trump’s decision to decertify the deal means that US lawmakers will decide on the fate of the deal within the next two months.

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