Since President Donald Trump declined to receritfy the Iranian nuclear deal, every other party to the agreement has come out in support.
In what is no doubt a humiliating moment for the president, European Union leaders are set to reaffirm their “full commitment to the Iran nuclear deal” on Thursday after meeting in Brussels, regardless of Trump’s threats to pull out of the deal, reports Reuters.
Russia has already reaffirmed its commitment to the deal. On Tuesday, according to state media, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that, “[Trump administration officials have] violated not only the spirit but also the letter of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], as it appears to us, with a number of their actions.”
The 2015 agreement, signed by Iran and P5+1 countries (the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany) sets strict limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, and has been the target of tough rhetoric from Trump as both candidate and president. He declined to recertify the deal last week — a purely domestic mechanism that technically has no immediate impact on the JCPOA but gives Congress two months to decide on whether to place additional sanctions on Iran.
Still, even though Trump’s stance hasn’t killed the deal yet, his constant attacks are starting to have a galvanizing effect with Iran. While Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has indicated a willingness to stick with the deal as long as the European partners do, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that Iran would “shred” the deal if the United States withdraws. Quoting Iranian state media, Reuters reported that Khamenei told an audience on Wednesday: “Trump’s stupidity should not distract us from America’s deceitfulness… If the U.S. tears up the deal, we will shred it… Everyone should know that once again America will receive a slap in its mouth and will be defeated by Iranians.” Khamenei also asked Europe to “stand against practical measures [taken] by America.”
For now, Trump, along with U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, speak into a domestic echo chamber calling Iran out on “violations” to the deal, that, much like the emperor’s clothes, only they can see:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017