Future of Nuclear Deal: What the World Says

September 27, 2017

President Donald Trump has suggested that he would prefer to withdraw from or renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran. Officials from the other world powers that negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, however, have warned the United States against withdrawing from the deal. The following are excerpted remarks.



Foreign Minister Wang Yi

"Pulling the U.S. out of the deal would not only erode the credibility of the U.S. It would also deal a heavy blow to the international nuclear non-proliferation drive, and set a bad precedent that would surely hamper the ongoing multinational efforts at finding a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear deadlock through negotiation.”
—Sept. 22, 2017, quoted in the China Daily


European Union

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini

“The deal is working. It doesn’t need to be renegotiated. It cannot be renegotiated, it has been negotiated for twelve years. And in the two years it has been in place, it has prevented Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. And I would like to say one thing- we are living in a time when many things are not working in our world, to use a euphemism. If there is one agreement that is holding, working and delivering, we should preserve it. And the IAEA is the body that is foreseen to monitor the implementation of the agreement. It’s not the president of the United States, France, Russia or whatever, it’s the IAEA that is foreseen to monitor the implementation, and it has certified seven times and it is continuing to certify the full implementation of the nuclear commitments of Iran. If you look at DPRK, you understand very easily that if there is one nuclear non-proliferation agreement that is working and delivering you should definitely not put this into question in this moment”

—Sept. 23, 2017, in an interview with Sky News


Well, first of all, let me remind us all that the atomic agency, the IAEA, has certified eight times that Iran is compliant with all the commitments included in the agreement. Eight times, last time just a few weeks ago.

We have the international community strongly behind the full implementation of the deal that has prevented Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

So, the deal not only will hold [if Trump does not recertify], but the deal doesn’t belong to one country or another. It’s a U.N. Security Council resolution, and the entire international community, from Russia to China to Japan to Latin America to Europe and the European Union, will continue to guarantee that the deal will hold, is implemented, and that the Iranians will continue to stick to their nuclear commitments.

Let me also say something that is very important. And I think the American people understand this perfectly well. We are living in a moment of tensions and growing risks on the nuclear side. We’re seeing threats coming from the DPRK. And, there, we see, regrettably, that there is no mechanism still in place to avoid a nuclear proliferation.

We have one agreement that, on nuclear-related issues, has worked now two years consistently. This is definitely not the right moment to dismantle a piece of nuclear nonproliferation arrangements that is currently working and showing also in this way the good example for the rest of the world.

—Oct. 11, 2017, in an interview with PBS Newshour


Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan

“We have the blocking statute ... which does offer legal protection to European companies which are threatened by the extraterritorial nature of U.S. sanctions in certain circumstances.”
“I have no doubt that if this scenario materializes, which it’s not clear it will, the European Union will act to protect the legitimate interests of our companies with all the means at our disposal.”
—Sept. 25, 2017, speaking at the Atlantic Council


President Emmanuel Macron

“Is this agreement enough? No. It is not, given the evolution of the regional situation and increasing pressure that Iran is exerting on the region, and given ... increased activity by Iran on the ballistic level since the accord.”
—Sept. 20, 2017, to reporters via Reuters

“Renouncing it would be a grave error, not respecting it would be irresponsible, because it is a good accord that is essential to peace at a time where the risk of an infernal conflagration cannot be excluded."
—Sept. 20, 2017, speaking at the UN General Assembly



Foreign Minister Sigmund Gabriel

“Now we will all try to convince the Americans in the remaining weeks ... that calling the agreement into question will not increase security.”
—Sept. 21, 2017, to reporters via Reuters


Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig

“What kind of signal would this send to countries like North Korea? It would send a signal that diplomacy is not reliable, that you can’t trust diplomatic agreements, and that would affect, I believe, our credibility in the West when we’re not honoring an agreement that Iran has not violated.”
—Sept. 25, 2017, speaking at the Atlantic Council



Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

"This program is already finalized and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council resolution. Opening up this plan for negotiations basically would be disregarding this agreement."
—Sept. 22, 2017, speaking to reporters at the U.N. General Assembly


United Kingdom 

Spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May

“Prime Minister Theresa May tonight spoke with Donald Trump ahead of the US President’s upcoming decision on recertifying the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

“The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security.

“The Prime Minister stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.

“Mrs May and the President also discussed the need for the UK, US and others to work together to counter destabilising Iranian activity in the region.

“The Prime Minister and President agreed that their teams should remain in contact ahead of the decision on recertification.

“They also discussed the importance of the jobs provided by the Bombardier factory to the people and economy of Northern Ireland.

“The Prime Minister also reiterated her condolences to the President in the wake of the terrible shooting in Las Vegas.”

—Oct. 10, 2017, following a call with President Trump


Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

“The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralised its nuclear threat. The UK supports the deal and stresses the importance of all parties continuing to uphold their commitments.

“We have made no bones about our deep concern at Iran’s destabilising regional activity, including its ballistic missile programme, but I remain steadfast in my view that the nuclear deal was an historic achievement that has undoubtedly made the world a safer place.

“It was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK. It is these security implications that we continue to encourage the US to consider.”

—Oct. 10, 2017, following a call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson


Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch

“In a sense what this administration has been saying since it came into office has changed the climate already for Iran, so it’s succeeding. And we would say let’s carry on with that, let’s intensify our discussion … take some decisions on the way forward on all these issues, but let’s keep the JCPOA.”
—Sept. 25, 2017, quoted in Huffington Post

"As long as the Iranians continue to comply with it, in the view of the IAEA, we will continue to support it."
—Sept. 25, 2017, speaking at the Atlantic Council