European leaders jointly condemned President Donald Trump’s decision on October 13 to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. Leaders criticized Trump’s threats, saying the move undermines 13 years of laborious diplomacy and would adversely affect global security interests.
“As I have said many times,” Trump stated in his speech at the White House on October 13, “the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” Amidst his searing derisions of the deal and the Iranian government, Trump called for a stricter deal that would “deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.” He tasked Congress with identifying a set of “trigger points,” which, if crossed, would lead to re-imposition of sanctions. New economic sanctions would violate the terms of the original deal, in which Iran accepted limits on uranium fuel in exchange for sanction suspensions. Trump did not go so far as to dismantle the deal entirely but made it clear that he would take that step if Congress failed to deliver improvements.
In an unusual joint statement, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal. The leaders expressed concerns about the “possible implications” of the announcement and encouraged the U.S. to consider the consequences to international security. They further declared that they “stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the U.S. and all relevant partners.”
This is the latest in a string of announcements from Trump announcing U.S. withdrawal from and renegotiation of Obama-era international agreements, including the Paris climate accord, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and NAFTA. Trump faces domestic and foreign resistance for putting into question U.S. support for these agreements, putting a particular strain on relations with European leaders.