Iran and Russia Defend Nuclear Deal

Iran, Europe and Russia on Friday stood in defense of the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran stating that they would stick by it, after the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to terminate it, The New York Times writes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Trump’s decision to deny Iran’s compliance with the deal was an act of courage, saying the U.S. leader had “boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime.” European officials pushed back, however, on his threat to scuttle the deal if his terms can’t be satisfied.

“It is not a bilateral agreement. It does not belong to any single country and it is not up to any single country to terminate,” the European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said to the reporters. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a joint statement they remained committed to the agreement “and its full implementation by all sides.”

China has also stated its desire to keep the accord as it is, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying Tuesday it was in the interest of all sides its implementation to continue.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Friday he “will continue to stick to” the nuclear accord, calling it “much stronger” than U.S. President Donald Trump thinks, TIME writes.

Rouhani used his about 20-minute address to talk about tensions in Iranian-U.S. relations dating back to the 1953 CIA-engineered coup that overthrew its elected prime minister and put the Shah firmly in control. He said the country would continue to build and test ballistic missiles, something allowed under the nuclear deal though Americans believe it violates the accord’s spirit.

“We have always been determined and today we are more determined,” Rouhani said. “We will double our efforts from now on.”

Although nations are not on the same page on the Iranian deal, many analysts believe that Iran’s is not, in fact, complying with the deal as evidence of the breaches emerged on social media, where soldiers were transferred to fight battles in Syria via commercial aircrafts, and inspections of nuclear sites were poorly performed.