England, Germany, and France issued a joint statement on Tuesday expressing “regret” over President Donald Trump’s historic decision to withdraw the United States from the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal, brokered under former President Barack Obama.
“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,” the countries wrote. The letter concluded with the trio stating, “We and our Foreign Ministers will reach out to all parties to the JCPoA to seek a positive way forward.”
Despite his strongest efforts to keep the United States in the deal during his visit with Trump last week, French President Emmanuel Macron was unable to convince the commander-in-chief to stay in a deal that Trump has long regarded as “deeply flawed” and which he built his campaign promise on dismantling.
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction,” President Trump said during his speech on Tuesday from the White House. “That a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.” He said the Iran nuclear deal is “defective at its core.”
With that, he announced that he will re-impose all sanctions on Iran lifted under the 2015 deal.
“I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be party to the agreement,” Trump said. “In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of sanctions.”
He added that any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear ambitions will also be sanctioned by the United States: “We will not allow a regime that chants ‘death to America’ to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday announced that he “fully supports President [Donald] Trump’s bold decision” to withdraw.
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran,” Netanyahu said in a televised address, shortly after Trump’s historic announcement. “Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that, rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs.”
He added, “The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away; it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression; it dramatically increased it.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani suggested America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA means nothing, saying, “From this moment on, the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) is between Iran and five countries. The plus one no longer exists and, under these circumstances, we have to wait and see how these six countries will react to this agreement.”
Rouhani in response to Trump: “From this moment on, the JPOA (nuclear agreement) is between Iran and five countries. The plus one no longer exists and under these circumstances we have to wait and see how these six countries will react to this agreement.” #IranDeal pic.twitter.com/XTfJ8ffJ0v
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) May 8, 2018
Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, said Trump’s announcement “laid out what comes next.” He added, “It sends a very clear signal that the United States will not accept inadequate deals.”
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 8, 2018
“It sends a very clear signal the United States will not accept inadequate deals,” says @AmbJohnBolton.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 8, 2018
Many have suggested that the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPoA will lead to war. However, asked if this action is a precursor to “boots on the ground” in Iran as many people have suggested, Bolton said, “They would be badly mistaken.”
Bolton added, “The government of Iran had no interest in trying to change this deal. And why should they?” It was “excellent” for the Iranians, he said.