Iran nuclear deal: Powers seek to save agreement after US exit
The UK, France and Germany issued a joint statement in support of the agreement
Western powers say they remain committed to the Iran
nuclear deal - after the US announced it was withdrawing from the
The UK, France and Germany say they "will work with
all remaining parties" and urged the US not to obstruct its
The other signatories to the 2015 deal - Russia and
China - have also stressed their continuing support.
Iran says it is working to salvage the deal without US
"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," the UK, France and Germany said
in a joint statement.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: "I
have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European
countries, China and Russia in the coming weeks.
"If we achieve the deal's goals in co-operation with
other members of the deal, it will remain in place."
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions
that had been imposed by the UN, US and EU
Why did the US withdraw?
In a televised address on Tuesday, President Donald
Trump said the US would withdraw from the JCPOA. He called it a
"horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made".
Rather than protecting the US and its allies, he said
it had placed "very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity and no
limits at all on its other malign behaviour, including its sinister
activities in Syria, Yemen and other places."
The president added that the accord did not deal with
Iran's development of ballistic missiles, and that its inspections
mechanisms were not strong enough.
He said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were
waived when the deal was signed in 2015.
When will the sanctions restart?
The US Treasury said economic sanctions would not be
reimposed on Iran immediately, but would be subject to 90-day and
180-day wind-down periods.
In a statement on its website, it said the sanctions
would target industries mentioned in the deal, including Iran's oil
sector, aircraft exports, precious metals trade, and Iranian government
attempts to buy US dollar banknotes.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton is reported
as saying that European companies doing business with Iran will have to
finish within six months or face US sanctions.
What reaction has there been worldwide?
The Russian foreign ministry said it was "deeply
disappointed" by Mr Trump's decision.
Japan said it would closely monitor the impact of the
The European Union's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini,
said the EU was "determined to preserve" the agreement.
Former President Barack Obama - who played a key role
in the agreement - said on Facebook that it was working and protected US
"Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on
America's closest allies, and an agreement that our country's leading
diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated," he
A spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
said he was "deeply concerned" at the announcement and called on the
other signatories to abide by their commitments.
But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he
"fully supports" Mr Trump's "bold" withdrawal from a "disastrous" deal.
And Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional rival, says it
"supports and welcomes" Mr Trump's moves towards pulling out of the
What was agreed under the deal?
The JCPOA saw Iran agree to limit the size of its
stockpile of enriched uranium - which is used to make reactor fuel, but
also nuclear weapons - for 15 years and the number of centrifuges
installed to enrich uranium for 10 years.
Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so
it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb.
Iran limited its
sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief
In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, US and EU that
had crippled Iran's economy were lifted.
The deal was agreed between Iran and the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, UK, France, China
and Russia - plus Germany.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely
peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Past News 2018 >>