On May 10, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemning the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.
In a poll conducted before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, a majority of Iranians said they would support retaliation against the United States if it abrogated the accord. The IranPoll survey also showed that 92 percent of Iranians had no confidence that the United States would live up to its nuclear deal obligations. And only 54 percent of respondents were confident that other world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia -- would live up to their obligations.
On May 10, Israeli jets struck some 70 Iranian targets in Syria in response to rocket fire attributed to Iran. It was Israel’s largest attack carried out in Syria since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, according to an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson.
The U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal was the top story in Iranian newspapers on May 9, the day after President Donald Trump’s announcement. His decision produced common cause among Iran’s diverse political cartoonists through the end of the month. The Islamic Republic has a broad political spectrum—ranging from reformists to hardline principlists—that is reflected in an equally broad range of media outlets. But they uniformly depicted the U.S. decision as self-destructive and Iran as resilient.
On May 8, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. Israel and the Gulf states welcomed Trump's decision. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump's decision as an "historic move" and praised his "courageous leadership." Iran's rival, Saudi Arabia, condemned Tehran's destabilizing behavior in the region.
Foreign policy and nonproliferation experts issued a range of reactions to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. Some critics of the accord thought the move was risky. "I would've preferred to see a US-E3 agreement first," Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense for Democracies said. "I certainly understand President Trump's motivation but it's a big risk," said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector. Supporters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) said U.S. credibility had been damaged.
On May 8, President Trump withdrew from the landmark Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. Former President Barack Obama and other officials from his administration criticized Trump's move. "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," Obama said. "Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East," he added.
Members of Congress were divided over President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal. Many Republicans and Democrats criticized the president's decision or at least regretted not being able to reach a supplemental agreement with European allies. U.S. diplomats had been quietly negotiating with their British, French and German counterparts since January to address Trump's issues with the accord. "I have always believed the best course of action is to fix the deficiencies in the agreement," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the wake of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord and reimpose sanctions on Iran. "As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal," E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini said. "We urge the U.S.
On May 6, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson traveled to Washington D.C. for two days of talks with the Trump administration on Iran, North Korea, Syria and other major international issues. He was due to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and others. Johnson made his final pitch for preserving the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump has threatened to withdraw from if certain perceived flaws cannot be “fixed” by May 12.