US walks out of 'one-sided' Iran nuclear deal, risks conflict in Middle East and alienating allies

Former US President Barack Obama, who forged the deal in association with others, said that Trump`s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, was "misguided."

US walks out of 'one-sided' Iran nuclear deal, risks conflict in Middle East and alienating allies
US President Donald Trump signs a proclamation announcing his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement at the White House in Washington (Reuters Photo)

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear accord, unravelling the decision of his predecessor Barack Obama to stopp Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. Economic sanctions, that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015, will now be reimposed on Tehran, said Trump.

"This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made," Trump said at the White House in announcing his decision. "It didn`t bring calm, it didn`t bring peace, and it never will." 

He added that Obama's foreign policy did not address Iran`s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 nor its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

The deal was worked out by the United States and five other international powers – UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – in 2015.

By abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, the US now risks conflict in the Middle East, upsetting Western allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies.

Trump said that he was willing to negotiate a fresh deal, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already ruled it out and threatened unspecified retaliation if Washington pulled out.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television said on Tuesday that Trump`s decision to withdraw was "illegal, illegitimate and undermines international agreements."

Renewing sanctions would make it much harder for Iran to sell its oil abroad or use the international banking system.

Despite US pulling out, the Iran deal is likely to be partially intact with five other signatories committed to it.

European allies have expressed regret Trump's decision on Iran but Israel and Saudis supported it.

"The European Union is determined to preserve it," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said of the world powers` 2015 agreement with Tehran. "Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal."

"I am particularly worried by the announcement tonight of new sanctions," she added.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he regretted the decision and would work on a broader agreement covering Iran`s nuclear activity, ballistics programme and regional activities.

Israel praised President Donald Trump`s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, with Israeli Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu saying that the deal was "a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world."

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim power that considers Shi`ite Iran to be its main regional foe, also hailed Trump`s decision: "Iran used economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to continue its activities to destabilise the region, particularly by developing ballistic missiles and supporting terrorist groups in the region," said a statement carried on Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

Former US President Barack Obama, who forged the deal in association with others, said that Trump`s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, was "misguided."

"I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake," Obama said in a statement, referring to the acronym for the agreement worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran.

Obama said the Iran agreement significantly rolled back Tehran`s nuclear program and was a model for a possible deal Trump hopes to negotiate with North Korea to eliminate Pyongyang`s nuclear weapons. 

"That is why today’s announcement is so misguided," Obama said.

"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," he said. 

Former vice president Joe Biden said that he decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal would isolate America.

Meannwhile, oil prices pushed higher in early trading on Wednesday after Trump walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, a move that may curb the OPEC-member`s crude exports in an already tight market.

With agency inputs