Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the United States and the Trump administration for pulling out of the Iran deal in remarks Wednesday, describing it as an “unfortunate step.”
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the deal signed under Barack Obama alongside multiple European allies, describing it as a “horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
The announcement immediately drew criticism from Obama officials who worked on the deal and nations seeking closer ties to the Iranian regime, like Turkey.
“The United States has not remained faithful to the agreement it had reached,” said Turkish President Erdoğan. “You should respect an agreement you have signed.”
On Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also claimed the move was an “unfortunate step” that would risk further nuclear proliferation.
“Turkey has always defended the stance that issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program should be resolved through diplomacy and negotiations and has made intensive efforts in this direction,” the ministry said in a press release.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] accepted in 2015 was an important step taken to prevent proliferation,” the press release read. “The plan in question has shown that even the most difficult of subjects could be resolved through negotiations.”
“As such, we consider it an unfortunate step that the US has decided to withdraw from the deal,” it continues. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action must be protected and continue to be implemented in full transparency, uninterrupted and complete, under the control of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency].”
Under Erdogan’s rule, Turkey has attempted to realign itself with Russia and Iran. Last August, they agreed to “boost military ties” to help secure their regional dominance. Their relationship remains strained, however, as Erdogan refuses to support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a proxy of the Iranian regime.
Turkey was just one of many nations to criticize the move. French President Emmanuel Macron issued a statement Tuesday that France, Germany, and the United Kingdom would fight to save the deal.
“France, Germany and the UK regret the US decision to leave the JCPOA,” he wrote. “The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake.”
“We will work collectively on a broader framework, covering nuclear activity, the post-2025 period, ballistic activity, and stability in the Middle East, notably Syria, Yemen and Iraq,” he continued.
Other major powers, such as China and Russia, also denounced the decision. Russia’s first deputy head of the defense and security committee in the Russian Upper House of Parliament Yevgeny Serebrennikov argued that it could put upcoming denuclearization talks with North Korea at risk.