EU disowns Trump over Iran nuclear deal, a “key pillar” for international non-proliferation

At a time of acute nuclear threat, European leaders intend to preserve the agreement signed with Iran despite Trump’s threat to terminate it. For UN atomic agency, the deal is fundamental for the security of the US, its allies and the region. The IMF rejects the US president’s demand to cut loans to Tehran.

Tehran (AsiaNews) – European Union foreign ministers issued a joint statement following a meeting yesterday afternoon in Luxembourg. In it, they said that "At a time of acute nuclear threat the EU is determined to preserve the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as a key pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture".

European foreign ministers defended the deal signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015, which US President Donald Trump has disowned.  The US leader has threatened to scrap the agreement, and last week called on Congress to impose new sanctions against Iran.

Last Friday, Trump accused Iran of failing to live up to the terms and spirit of the nuclear agreement. On Monday, he raised the possibility once again that he might try to end the deal completely.

"It might be total termination, that's a real possibility, some would say that's a greater possibility," the US leader told reporters.

Trump’s remarks fly in the face of official statements by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEC), which verified eight times that Iran "is implementing all its nuclear related commitments following a comprehensive and strict monitoring system."

In view of this, the IAEC called on the United States to maintain its commitment to the JCPOA and to "consider the implications for the security of the [United States], its partners, and the region before taking further steps."

The UN agency insisted that lifting nuclear-related sanctions "strengthens cooperation and allows for continuous dialogue with Iran."

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini also addressed the issue.

Next month, she is scheduled to visit Washington to discuss of the nuclear issue. She plans to urge US lawmakers not to pull out of the Iran deal, which was aimed at slowing Iran's potential path toward developing a nuclear weapon.

Likewise, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said, "We must be able to demonstrate that when a nuclear agreement has been concluded that we respect it".

In Washington, barely 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to stop lending to Iran, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde firmly said no, adding that the IMF sees "no reason to change anything in the guidelines that we have received from [its] Board and [will] continue to operate in the same manner."

The row between the IMF and Trump on Iran is just the latest in the war of words between the US administration and the international organisation.

The United States remains the IMF’s main contributor; however, the latter insists on maintaining its decision-making autonomy with respect to economic relations with Tehran.