Trump pullout from Iran deal damaged EU-US ties: Merkel

Trump pullout from Iran deal damaged EU-US ties: Merkel
16 May

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from an international nuclear agreement with Iran, saying the move clearly damages ties between the European Union and the United States.

Merkel on Tuesday rejected Trump’s notion that the 2015 nuclear accords between Iran and six world powers, including Germany, was flawed, and insisted that the deal was still the best way forward to interact with Tehran.

The German chancellor, who was addressing a congress of the German trade unions, said Trump’s decision last week to pull the US out of the deal, despite calls from Europeans and others that they would remain in the agreement, seriously affected relations between the two sides of the Atlantic.

Germany, France and Britain, along with the European Union authorities, have declared their continued support for the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying US criticism of Tehran’s missile program and other issues should not undermine the agreement which came after years of intensive diplomatic work.

Merkel said after Trump’s decision that her country and European allies would “do everything” to ensure Iran remains in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. This comes as Iran seeks clear guarantees from the European parties of the JCPOA, as well as from China and Russia, that they would stick to the terms of the agreement, otherwise, Iran has announced, that it would cease its commitments under the accord which imposes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

The EU said Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet counterparts from the three European parties to the JCPOA later on Tuesday in Brussels.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives at the EU headquarters in Brussels ahead of a meeting, on May 15, 2018, with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and EU counterparts, concerning Iran’s nuclear deal. (AFP photo)

In a further bid to keep the Iran deal alive, Merkel spoke through phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. Reports said the two leaders discussed the significance of the JCPOA and said they were concerned with Trump’s decision.

“The importance of preserving the deal from a point of view of international and regional stability was highlighted,” a statement from the Kremlin said following the phone call between Putin and Merkel.

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