Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:36AM
US President Donald Trump speaks following the ceremonial swearing-in of James Mattis as secretary of defense on January 27, 2016 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump speaks following the ceremonial swearing-in of James Mattis as secretary of defense on January 27, 2016 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

European leaders have defended Iran’s nuclear agreement as speculations continue about how the new US president will approach the milestone agreement. French President Francois Hollande has been the latest European official to throw his weight behind the deal. Speaking to President Trump over the phone, Hollande has asked him to respect Iran’s historic nuclear deal with the P5+1 group. During his election campaign, Trump raised concerns by threatening to “tear up” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or try to renegotiate its terms if elected president.

In an interview with Press TV, Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political scientist, described Iran’s nuclear deal as a win-win agreement with remarkable political achievements for the negotiating sides, adding that it is in the US interest to preserve the agreement; otherwise, it will lead to a wide gap between Washington and its European allies, which have stood by their commitments under the JCPOA. 

“I completely concur with what President Hollande has said about the importance of sticking with the Iran nuclear deal which serves the interests of the international community as well as the US’ own interests,” Afrasiabi said, adding that by discarding the deal, President Trump will be ruining a major diplomatic achievement of the US.

“So, hopefully Mr. Trump will listen to European leaders. We saw the other day British Prime Minister Theresa May was in the White House and she reiterated her support for the JCPOA. All European leaders are united in their defense of the nuclear agreement as mutually beneficial and a win-win agreement that serves the interests of both sides,” he noted.

Afrasiabi further reiterated that although Donald Trump can technically roll back Barack Obama’s measures regarding the JCPOA and sanctions removals, he has to go a long way to persuade the American people and also the US Congress that the deal is harmful to the country’s interests.

According to the analyst, Obama’s executive orders on Iran’s nuclear deal can now be technically reversed by President Trump if he wishes to; however, he should also report to Congress and state his reasons for doing so.

He predicted that Trump will have a hard time convincing the American public and Congress that “the nuclear deal is so horrible that it should be dismantled."