European leaders expressed concern over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord, and warned of possible security implications if sanctions are reimposed.
Trump said Oct. 13 that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPoA, with Iran will be terminated if lawmakers and the other parties to the agreement fail to rework it to his satisfaction. He said Iran is "not living up to the spirit" of the accord, which limits the country's nuclear activities, and accused it of supporting terrorist groups and acting aggressively in the Middle East and globally.
Leaders of France, Germany and the U.K., which are all members of the JCPoA, urged the U.S. government to preserve the deal, saying that the International Atomic Energy Agency "has repeatedly confirmed Iran's compliance with the [deal] through its long-term verification and monitoring" program.
"Therefore, we encourage the U.S. Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said in a joint statement.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' commander, said that if new sanctions were implemented, it would be a violation of the nuclear deal, and the U.S. "will have to find a new place for its military bases 2,000 kilometers [1,243 miles] away, not to fall into the range of Iranian missiles," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned Trump's policy shift, vowing that it wouldn't force Iran to alter its landmark nuclear deal.
"The Iranian people will not bend down before a dictator," Rouhani was quoted as saying in a televised speech on Oct. 13, according to the Journal. "No paragraph or article or note will be added" to the nuclear deal to satisfy Trump, he added.