May 15, 2018 16:17 UTC
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from an international nuclear agreement with Iran, saying the move clearly damages ties between the European Union and the United States.

Merkel on Tuesday rejected Trump’s notion that the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and P5+1 group of countries, including Germany, was flawed, and insisted that the deal was still the best way forward to interact with Tehran.

The German chancellor, who was addressing a congress of the German trade unions, said Trump’s decision last week to pull the US out of the deal despite calls from Europeans and others that they would remain in the agreement, seriously affected relations between the two sides of the Atlantic.

Germany, France and Britain, along with the European Union authorities, have declared their continued support for the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the US criticism of Iran’s missile program and other issues should not undermine the agreement which came after years of intensive diplomatic work.

Merkel said after Trump’s decision that her country and European allies would "do everything" to ensure Iran remains in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. This comes as Iran seeks clear guarantees from the European parties of the JCPOA, as well as from China and Russia, that they would stick to the terms of the agreement; otherwise, Iran has announced, that it would cease its commitments under the accord which imposes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.  

In a further bid to keep the deal alive, Merkel spoke on phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. Reports said the two leaders discussed the significance of the JCPOA and said they were concerned with Trump’s decision.

“The importance of preserving the deal from a point of view of international and regional stability was highlighted,” a statement from the Kremlin said following the phone call between Putin and Merkel.