European powers try to save Iran N-deal after US exit

Washington, May 9: European powers have pledged their “continuing commitment” to the Iran nuclear deal after President Donald Trump announced the US’ withdrawal from the 2015 “horrible, one-sided” pact rooted in “fiction”. Following Trump’s widely expected decision on Tuesday night, the UK, France and Germany urged Washington not to obstruct the implementation of the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). They said they would work with the other signatories to the agreement — Russia and China — to stress continuing support for the accord. Reacting to Trump’s move, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his government remained committed to the nuclear deal with world powers, despite the US’ withdrawal. But he warned that Iran “was also ready to resume uranium enrichment if the accord no longer offered benefits”. Rouhani said he had directed his diplomats to negotiate with the deal’s remaining signatories – including the European countries, Russia and China. He said the agreement could survive without the US. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would “spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran”. In the Iranian Parliament, members burned an American flag and the Speaker reportedly said that Trump lacked “mental capacity”. However, the US allies have stood firmly behind the accord but they could also suffer penalties under renewed US sanctions, removing incentives to continue to do business with Iran.  (IANS)