Europe: Leaders ask Trump to weigh implications of Iran move
LONDON (AP) — The leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal and are “concerned by the possible implications” of a U.S. decision Friday to no longer back it in its current form.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement calling the nuclear deal “the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy.” The three issued the statement after said President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t recertify the deal.
“We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the” accord, the European leaders said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not immediately respond to President Donald Trump’s refusal to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement and demand for Congress to toughen the terms of U.S. participation.
But a top Russian lawmaker whose views usually reflect the Kremlin’s said Trump’s position “can lead to the emergence of a real conflict.”
“The creation of an unstable situation can lead to Iran reacting,” Frants Klintsevich, deputy of the security and defense committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, told the Interfax news agency. “With its resources and capabilities, Iran is a very serious country.”
While urging the Trump administration to avoid inflaming the situation by re-imposing sanctions on Iran, Merkel, Macron and May said they shared U.S. concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program.
“We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the U.S. and all relevant partners,” they said. “We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop destabilizing actions.”
Macron’s office says he spoke Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who gave assurances of Iran’s commitment to the 2015 accord. Macron didn’t address the risk of new U.S. sanctions.
Rouhani will host the International Atomic Energy Agency chief in Iran next week, and the French foreign minister will go to Iran soon to discuss the accord, Macron’s statement said.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the Iran nuclear deal a robust agreement that is working and cannot be terminated by any single leader, including Trump.
Mogherini, who worked on behalf of major world powers to secure the deal, insisted during a stern-faced address to reporters that Iran has committed no violations of its commitments under the agreement.
She underlined that Trump cannot kill the deal, saying: “the president of the United States has many powers. Not this one.”