Washington’s closest allies have sent a carefully timed warning to Donald Trump not to tear up the Iran nuclear deal, saying it is essential for international security, and no better alternative has been suggested by the White House.
At a meeting in Brussels attended by the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, the three EU signatories to the deal, insisted that Iran was respecting the agreement signed in 2015.
The display of resolve came before a decision by the US president, expected on Friday, on whether to continue to sign a waiver to prevent the reimposition of economic sanctions against Iran. Tehran has warned that any failure to sign the waiver would lead to the deal’s collapse, and the speedy restart of uranium enrichment.
The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the deal, denounced by Trump as the worst ever made, had in reality “made the world safer and prevented a potential nuclear arms race in the region”.
She also said any doubts the EU harboured over Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, or its overall policy of interference across the Middle East, were separate from the nuclear deal – also known as the JCPOA.
Both France and Britain, in part to remain in alliance with the US, have said Iran needs to sign fresh agreements over both issues. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has spoken of supplementing the nuclear deal.