Merkel reaffirms Germany's commitment to Iran nuclear deal despite United States withdrawal

Posted May 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, May 8, 2018.

"Germany, France and Britain have decided that we will abide by the agreement, and we will do everything we can to see that Iran also abides by its responsibilities in the future", said Merkel. But Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei appeared sceptical over whether they could deliver.

In her speech in Aachen, Merkel urged the European Union to strengthen its foreign and defense policy, arguing that Europe could no longer fully rely on the United States to protect it.

Both Macron and Merkel spoke with Trump about maintaining the deal in the weeks leading up to his announcement, even going so far as to lay out a four-point plan for restructuring the agreement as Trump said he wished to do.

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"It exports unsafe missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al Qaeda", Trump said.

But little progress has been made and officials close to Macron say he has lowered his ambitions, despite having made Europe a central plank of his presidency.

"A long-term framework for Iran's nuclear programme after some of the provisions of the JCPoA expire, after 2025, will have to be defined".

Lawmakers held the impromptu demonstration inside parliament on Wednesday, the day after Trump's decision.

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The coalition partners of the Christian Democrats, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), remained second at 16 percent.

President Rouhani said Iran would take a few weeks to decide how to respond to the U.S. withdrawal, but ordered the country's "atomic industry organization" to be prepared to "start our industrial (uranium) enrichment without limitations".

On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei described Trump's address as "shallow" and warned that Iran would not be intimidated by the US. There were several lies in his speech. On behalf of Iranian nation: 'Mr. "All who want it can join us", he added. "I don't trust these three countries". "If there's not definite guarantee, the #JCPOA can not continue".

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of that agreement as a response, in part, to Tehran's interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line toward Iran.

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The imperial great game continues, in other words, showing Iran that worldwide agreements are but "mere scraps of paper" to be torn up when they no longer serve the interests of the imperial hegemon.