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A protest outside the White House on Thursday denouncing President Trump’s expected decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

PARIS — European leaders expressed deep concern on Friday that President Trump would decertify the Iran nuclear deal, a pact they view as an important step toward averting conflict in the Middle East, with implications for tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump is expected declare on Friday his intention not to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord, an act that would kick to Congress a decision about whether to reimpose sanctions on the country.

From Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, leaders across the continent voiced alarm at the prospect of Mr. Trump undermining the 2015 deal, which Iran negotiated with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Friday that an American withdrawal from the deal “undoubtedly will affect the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and nonproliferation in the world,” according to Tass, the Russian news agency. The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, called his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to reiterate Russia’s commitment to the deal, the news agency said.

In Germany, officials have repeatedly shown support for the deal in recent days, and have warned that an American decision to walk away from it could damage the relationship between the United States and Europe. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Friday that Germany viewed the deal as “an important instrument to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

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“That’s why we will continue to work towards its full implementation,” he said. “If an important country like the United States comes to a different conclusion, as appears to be the case, we will work even harder with other partners to maintain this cohesion.”

British officials have been pressing the Trump administration to respect the deal. Mrs. May called Mr. Trump to emphasize that it was “vitally important for regional security.”

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President Trump has called the Iran nuclear agreement the “worst deal” and an “embarrassment.” Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, has also tried to make that point to his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, saying the deal was “making the world a safer place,” The Daily Telegraph reported.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to accept severe limits on its ability to enrich uranium fuel for 15 years, in exchange for the revocation or suspension of economic sanctions, including a European oil embargo.

The deal also imposed for the first time a verification mechanism that allowed the international community to make sure that Iran was abiding by its promises not to pursue nuclear weapons.

It was a major diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration, and has been praised by arms control groups who say it helped avert a potential conflict or nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

There are fears that the basic framework of the accord could collapse if the United States walks away. Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Friday that Russia believed Iran would abandon the deal if the United States did.

And as tensions between the United States and a nuclear-armed North Korea have escalated in recent months, European leaders have seen the Iran deal as an important example of a possible diplomatic way forward.

Germany’s foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, highlighted the implications of the deal for North Korea in an interview on Thursday with the German newspaper group RND. He warned that an American withdrawal could set off a scramble for nuclear weapons, threatening both international security and the European-American relationship.

“Some states could understand the breakdown of the Iran deal as a signal to provide themselves with nuclear weapons as quickly as possible,” he said. “Then we would not only have North Korea as an acute problem.”

Continue reading the main story

PARIS — European leaders expressed deep concern on Friday that President Trump would decertify the Iran nuclear deal, a pact they view as an important step toward averting conflict in the Middle East, with implications for tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump is expected declare on Friday his intention not to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord, an act that would kick to Congress a decision about whether to reimpose sanctions on the country.

From Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, leaders across the continent voiced alarm at the prospect of Mr. Trump undermining the 2015 deal, which Iran negotiated with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Friday that an American withdrawal from the deal “undoubtedly will affect the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and nonproliferation in the world,” according to Tass, the Russian news agency. The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, called his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to reiterate Russia’s commitment to the deal, the news agency said.

In Germany, officials have repeatedly shown support for the deal in recent days, and have warned that an American decision to walk away from it could damage the relationship between the United States and Europe. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Friday that Germany viewed the deal as “an important instrument to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

“That’s why we will continue to work towards its full implementation,” he said. “If an important country like the United States comes to a different conclusion, as appears to be the case, we will work even harder with other partners to maintain this cohesion.”

British officials have been pressing the Trump administration to respect the deal. Mrs. May called Mr. Trump to emphasize that it was “vitally important for regional security.”

Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, has also tried to make that point to his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, saying the deal was “making the world a safer place,” The Daily Telegraph reported.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to accept severe limits on its ability to enrich uranium fuel for 15 years, in exchange for the revocation or suspension of economic sanctions, including a European oil embargo.

The deal also imposed for the first time a verification mechanism that allowed the international community to make sure that Iran was abiding by its promises not to pursue nuclear weapons.

It was a major diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration, and has been praised by arms control groups who say it helped avert a potential conflict or nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

There are fears that the basic framework of the accord could collapse if the United States walks away. Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Friday that Russia believed Iran would abandon the deal if the United States did.

And as tensions between the United States and a nuclear-armed North Korea have escalated in recent months, European leaders have seen the Iran deal as an important example of a possible diplomatic way forward.

Germany’s foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, highlighted the implications of the deal for North Korea in an interview on Thursday with the German newspaper group RND. He warned that an American withdrawal could set off a scramble for nuclear weapons, threatening both international security and the European-American relationship.

“Some states could understand the breakdown of the Iran deal as a signal to provide themselves with nuclear weapons as quickly as possible,” he said. “Then we would not only have North Korea as an acute problem.”

Nytimes

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