May 8, 2018 - World

Global leaders react to Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal

Rouhani pointing to Iran flag
Iran's president Hassan Rouhani gives a speech during an event commemorating the city as the 2018 capital of Islamic tourism. Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

The most prominent foreign and domestic leaders are voicing their opinion on Trump's highly-anticipated decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

What they're saying: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke immediately after Trump, saying Iran would attempt to salvage the agreement without the U.S. "I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.” Former President Barack Obama, who signed the original deal in 2015, called Trump's decision "misguided" and a "serious mistake."

Foreign leaders

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: "Iran will be conferring with the world's two super powers, Russia and China." Adding that there is a "short time" to negotiate with other world powers to keep the nuclear deal in place, and that if negotiations fail, the Islamic Republic will enrich uranium "more than before" in the coming weeks, per CBS.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran... Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from start… Rather than blocking Iran's path to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran's path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs."

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fully supports the measures taken by [the president] with regards to the JCPOA. we always had reservations with regards to sunset clauses, ballistic missiles program, and Iran’s support for terrorism in the region.. [The deal] has fueled Iran’s malicious expansion driven by its extremist ideology."

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "[We] will remain parties to the JCPoA. Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement."

Congressional reaction

House Speaker Paul Ryan: "I have always believed the best course of action is to fix the deficiencies in the agreement. It is unfortunate that we could not reach an understanding with our European partners on a way to do that."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "The President's decision to follow his misguided and uninformed campaign promise to destroy the successful Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action endangers global security and defies comprehension. “

Second-ranking Senate Republican, John Cornyn (Texas): "President Trump is right to abandon the Obama Administration's bad deal. We know Iran as log thumbed its nose at the international community and has potentially violated this one-sides agreement. Any agreement must prevent Iran from Obtaining and employing weapons of mass destruction and subject to congressional scrutiny.”

Obama officials:

Former President Barack Obama: "[T]oday’s announcement is so misguided. 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... But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers."

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped craft and negotiate the deal: Trump "has literally taken a situation where there was no crisis and created crisis ... The real issue is this isolates the United States."

John Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A.: Trump "sent a very bad signal to Iran, to North Korea, to our allies, as well as to Russia and China, in terms of can they count on something that Washington agrees to when Administrations change."

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