Skip to main content

Iran deal: How the world reacted to Trump's decision

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand out in their praise for Trump's unilateral decision to leave Iran deal
Israelis in a coffee shop watch US President Donald Trump speaking about nuclear deal with Iran (Reuters)

The international community - with the exception of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - condemned US President Donald Trump's announcement that Washington would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Those who criticised the pullout include the European countries that are signatories to the treaty, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the European countries regretted Trump’s decision.

The French leader later expanded on the sentiment in an interview broadcast on German and French news channels.

"I think it's a mistake and that's why we Europeans have decided to remain in the nuclear agreement of 2015," Macron said. "We stand today at a historic moment for Europe - Europe is in charge of guaranteeing the multilateral order that we created at the end of World War II and which today is sometimes being shaken." 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her French counterpart Macron issued a joint statement expressing their continued commitment to the deal endorsed by the UN Security Council.

“We emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPoA. This agreement remains important for our shared security. We recall that the JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council,” the statement read, using an acronym for the nuclear deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“According to the IAEA, Iran continues to abide by the restrictions set out by the JCPoA, in line with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The world is a safer place as a result,” it added.

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said: "Stay true to your commitments as we will stay true to ours and together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal."

UN chief Antonio Guterres asked the other signatories of the treaty to stand by the agreement.

"I call on other JCPOA participants to abide fully by their respective commitments under the JCPOA and on all other member-states to support this agreement," Guterres said in a statement.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani condemned the US decision and said he would work with Europe, Russia and China to keep the deal intact.

"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.

"I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain," he added.

Among those who crticised the pullout of the nuclear deal are former US officials who helped get the treaty in place.

Former US president Barack Obama said the move is “a serious mistake” and “misguided”.

Former secretary of state John Kerry tweeted his displeasure at Trump’s decision, saying it “weakens [US] security”.

A spokesperson for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Trump’s decision will “cause instability” and “new conflicts”.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel were among the minority that welcomed Trump’s announcement.

"The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president towards withdrawing from the nuclear deal," said an official statement carried by Saudi state-run television Al-Ekhbariya.

The UAE’s state-run news agency said the country welcomes Trump’s decision.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his support for the US withdrawal of the deal.

"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, referring to the multinational accord with Iran.

Netanyahu said leaving the current deal in place was "a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world".

"This is why Israel thinks that President Trump did an historic move."