There is “an immediate threat” of war in the region if the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal collapses due to a US decision to pull out, the German foreign minister warned. He said US conduct on the Iran issue would make Europe side with Russia and China.
The alarming remarks come amid reports the Trump administration is preparing to withdraw from the nuclear deal the US signed in 2015 along with other five world powers plus Iran.
“A termination of the Iran agreement would turn the Middle East into a region of hot crises,” Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told German newspaper group RND on Thursday, as cited by Die Welt.
If Iran were to work on development of nuclear weapons following the collapse of the deal, “an immediate threat of a new war” would be considered by Israel, according to Gabriel. He said that Tehran adheres to the 2015 deal which was also confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a principal nuclear watchdog.
The US pulling out from the deal “would send a devastating signal for nuclear disarmament,” Gabriel continued. “Some states could understand a failure of the Iran agreement as a signal to provide themselves with nuclear weapons as fast as possible,” he said, apparently referring to North Korea.
If the nuclear deal fails, it would be “a complete illusion to encourage North Korea to enter a security-related treaty if the Iran agreement were to blow up.”
“The great drama is that the Iran agreement could become the plaything of the American domestic policy,” Gabriel stated.
Those in the EU “also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA,” the politician said.
US President Donald Trump is set to present a strategy on confronting Iran this week, including a controversial decision to ‘de-certify’ Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord, which he has consistently labeled an “embarrassment” and the “worst deal ever negotiated.”
Dismantling the Iran nuclear deal was one of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Concerns the US President will scrap the deal have been rising as the deadline to re-certify the agreement by October 15 approaches.
Should the White House decertify the deal, Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran, which would entirely derail the historic agreement.
Berlin has voiced unease in relation to any such move. Last week, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that it would create dangers for Germany and the international community, as sinking the nuclear deal would mean that the US was “replacing the rule of law with the law of the strongest,” according to DPA news agency.
Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, has also expressed concern over the possible demise of the nuclear agreement, which she said “serves the interests of all parties.”
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that it was hard to imagine for Moscow how withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran could be legally implemented by the US. The deal was also approved by a UN resolution, he added.