European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran nuclear deal for fear of another ‘devastating conflict in the Middle East’

Hundreds of lawmakers from Britain, France and Germany signed an open letter asking the US Congress to support the deal amid threats by President Donald Trump to abandon it 

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 April, 2018, 1:12am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 April, 2018, 2:08am

About 500 lawmakers from Germany, France and Britain on Thursday urged the US Congress to support the Iran nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump has threatened to abandon.

Scrapping the agreement would result “in another source of devastating conflict in the Middle East and beyond”, the politicians warned in an open letter published in several newspapers.

“It is the US’s and Europe’s interest to prevent nuclear proliferation in a volatile region and to maintain the transatlantic partnership as a reliable and credible driving force of world politics,” the MPs wrote.

The lawmakers – from the parliaments of the three European signatory countries – said the landmark 2015 deal was a “major diplomatic breakthrough” that had halted the imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

“We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear programme, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities and drastically diminish the danger of a nuclear arms race,” they wrote. “Not a drop of blood was spilt.”

US says Iran nuclear deal may continue after new EU sanctions are proposed

Trump has derided the deal as a capitulation to Tehran and said it was no longer is in the US interest to maintain the sanctions relief his predecessor, Barack Obama, granted Iran in return for controls on its nuclear programme.

He has demanded that US lawmakers and European allies fix “disastrous flaws” in the deal or face a US exit, possibly as early as next month.

The MPs warned that ending the deal would spell “lasting damage to our credibility as international partners in negotiation, and more generally, to diplomacy as a tool to achieve peace and ensure security.”

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Washington next week on separate official visits, in part to lobby Trump on the Iran issue.