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Nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake, Macron says

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini addresses a press conference on "Supporting the future of Syria and the region" at the European Council in Brussels on April 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The European Union's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini has said the bloc is "determined to preserve" the Iran nuclear deal.

Mogherini made the remarks on Tuesday shortly after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.)

The 2015 agreement "is delivering on its goal which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons, the European Union is determined to preserve it," Mogherini added, warning that she was "particularly worried" by the US' announcement of fresh sanctions.

"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," Mogherini added.

"As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal," she said.

"We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments," she further noted.

Germany announced that it will try to keep the deal alive despite Trump's announcement.

"We will try to keep alive this important agreement, which ensures the Middle East and the world as a whole are safer," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a televised broadcast.  

UN Secretary General António Guterres also announced that he was deeply concerned by the Trump's decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. In a statement Guterres called on all remaining parties to the deal to fully abide by commitments.

"It is essential that all concerns regarding the implementation of the plan be addressed through the mechanisms established in the JCPOA. Issues not directly related to the JCPOA should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments," Guterres said.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France, Germany and Britain regretted Trump's decision to pull out from JCPOA. "France, Germany, and the UK regret the US decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake," he twitted.

"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 added.

France, Germany and Britain also released a joint statement in which they announced their committed to implementing the deal despite Trump's decision to pull out and his threat of sanctions.

"Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement," said the joint statement.

The statement from British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also suggests that a transatlantic clash is looming over Trump's decision amid threats to European companies  working in Iran that may be subject to sanctions.

"We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal," the joint statement said.

It added that the US president's decision had been noted with "regret and concern" and it urged Tehran to continue complying with its JCPOA obligations.

"We encourage Iran to show restraint in response to the decision by the US; Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal," it added.

A spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced that Trump's decision to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA will result in instability and fresh conflicts. Ibrahim Kalin also tweeted that the multilateral agreement would continue with the other nations, while stressing that Turkey would continue to be against any manner of nuclear weapons.

Russia's Foreign Ministry also announced that it is "deeply disappointed" by Trump's decision to leave the deal.

"There are no - and can be no - grounds for breaking the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan. The plan showed its full efficiency," the ministry said.

"The United States is undermining international trust in the International Atomic Energy Agency," it added.

The statement added that it was open to further cooperation with the remaining deal members and would pursue developing bilateral ties with Iran.

Syria also strongly condemned Trump's decision, saying it will only serve to increase global tensions.

“Syria strongly condemns the US president decision which proves once again the US non-commitment to the international agreements and conventions,” said a statement released by Syria's Foreign Ministry.   

“Syria which renews its full solidarity with Iran, as people and leadership, is confident that Iran is able to overcome the repercussions of the US administration’s hostile stance which affects the security of the region and the world," it added.   

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced that his country will continue close negotiations with related parties towards maintaining the JCPOA. He added that Japan would also be closely monitoring the impact from the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord.

Trump's announcement came despite massive efforts by the European allies of the US to convince Trump to stay in the 2015 deal, known JCPOA, reached between Iran and the P5+1, five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany. Iran has on numerous occasions asserted that its nuclear program is merely peaceful and not meant to make nukes.

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