May 8, 2018 3:07 pm
Updated: May 8, 2018 7:07 pm

Iran calls Donald Trump’s withdrawal from nuclear deal ‘illegal’

Shortly after speaking at the White House Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation removing the United States from the recently-signed nuclear arms agreement with Iran.


Iranian state television said U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal was “illegal, illegitimate and undermines international agreements.”

Trump announced the withdrawal Tuesday in a press conference at the White House.

READ MORE: Donald Trump withdraws from Iran nuclear deal

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Trump said Tuesday that the deal was “a great embarrassment” to all American citizens, and has only helped Iran develop its nuclear capabilities.

Since the deal was struck Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region has “only grown more brazen,” Trump said.

After the announcement Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal.

“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place… By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

Trump also announced there would be economic sanctions against Iran, and any nation that helps Iran get nuclear weapons.

When announcing his decision, Trump cited Israeli intelligence that Iran was continuing to pursue nuclear weapons, despite the deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision to cancel the deal was brave, calling the nuclear deal “a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world.”

READ MORE: Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has proof Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons program

Meanwhile the other countries that were part of the deal are taking in the new information.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, who helped broker the deal, called on governments to honour the deal despite Trump’s decision.

“I am particularly worried by the announcement tonight of new sanctions,” Mogherini said.

“The European Union is determined to preserve it. Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.”

In a joint statement, French, British and German officials urged all remaining parties to remain in the deal.

“We urge the U.S. to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA (deal) can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal,” the statement provided by Prime Minister Theresa May’s office read.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France would work on a broader agreement covering Iran’s nuclear activity, ballistics program and regional activities.

“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,” Macron said on Twitter moments after Trump spoke, which were all concerns Trump spoke about Tuesday about the deal.

Macron also said the nuclear non-proliferation regime was at stake.

In Canada, Global Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland said she supported the deal, saying “Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons,” and that the JCPOA was the best way to do it.

“The JCPOA, agreed to with Iran in 2015 and endorsed by the UN Security Council, is not perfect. It has, however, helped to curb a real threat to international peace and security,” Freeland wrote in a statement.

Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. also oppose Trump’s decision. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, called the decision “a mistake of historic proportions.”

U.S. credibility

The way the U.S. is acting toward the deal has an effect on future deals, some say.

Yevgeny Serebrennikov, first deputy head of the defence and security committee in the Russian Upper House of Parliament, told the RIA news agency that Trump’s withdrawal puts the Korean peninsula peace process in doubt.

Trump is currently planning to sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to talk denuclearization of his country.

Political commentators also called the decision “irresponsible.”

READ MORE: Iran nuclear deal: What the agreement means for Canadian oil, trade and travel

Matthew Bolton, a political science professor at Pace Univeristy, told Reuters that the decision put “political posturing above human security.”

“It is a blow to America’s credibility, undercutting its capacity to persuade others that the US keeps its promises. The rest of the signatories of the Iran Deal – Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the EU – should forge ahead with upholding the agreement,” he said.

Former President Barack Obama said the deal is exactly what the U.S. should be striving for in its Korea talks.

“The JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea,” Obama wrote in a statement.

READ MORE: Barack Obama pens warning over Donald Trump’s ‘misguided’ exit from Iran nuclear deal

“Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated.”
*with files from Reuters and the Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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