Jan. 13 (UPI) — Rejecting pressure from U.S. President Trump, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they’re still committed to the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron in a joint statement Sunday night pledged “continuing commitment” for the pact, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
However, they warned, the support requires Iran to “reverse” steps it’s taken away from the deal’s limits on stockpiling low-enriched uranium.
Iran and other parties to the deal have expressed a willingness to salvage the JCPOA after the U.S. withdrawal in 2018. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump slammed the Obama-era agreement again after Iran launched a pair of missile strikes against U.S. bases in Iraq.
In declaring Iran must never have a nuclear weapon, Trump called the deal “foolish” and urged the other signatories — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union — to scrap the accord in response to Iran’s “destructive and destabilizing behavior.”
Johnson, Merkel and Macron, however, said they are not ready to back away from the deal. They said “despite increasingly difficult circumstances,” all the remaining signatories have “stated their continuing commitment to preserve the JCPOA.”
The three leaders said they share U.S. concerns about Iran’s “destabilizing role in the region” and its missile program. But, they contend, the best way forward is diplomacy.
“Our message is clear,” they said. “We remain committed to the JCPOA and to preserving it; we urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance; we call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation; and we remain ready to engage with Iran on this agenda in order to preserve the stability of the region.”