By Stefan J. Bos
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed in a joint statement that "it is with regret and concern" that they noted US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran.
But they pledged to remain committed to the agreement as it "remains important for our shared security." The three leaders urged Washington to "avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal."
That seemed a reference to Trump's plans to introduce new sanctions against Iran.
The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini echoed those concerns. "The nuclear deal with Iran is the culmination of 12 years of diplomacy. It belongs to the entire international community," she told reporters.
"It has been working, and it is delivering on its goal, which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons. The European Union is determined to preserve it," the top diplomat added.
In New York, Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, expressed Russia's disappointment at the U.S. announcement. He warned that the move might heighten tensions in the Middle East.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the U.S. president's decision as "a historic move."
He said the agreement with Iran would never remove the danger of Tehran developing atomic weapons.
Israel's intelligence allegedly showing that Iran had lied about its nuclear program was cited by Trump as one reason to pull out.