Minister Simon Coveney
By Irish Echo Staff
The Irish government is standing in line with European partners in opposing the decision by President Donald Trump to rescind U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal.
“I am greatly disappointed by the U.S. announcement that it is withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the JCPOA,” said Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney.
“Ireland and our EU partners, and a very broad spectrum of international opinion have made clear that we believe the JCPOA was a significant diplomatic achievement, and that all parties to it should implement it in full,” Coveney said.
And he continued: “We share many of the concerns which the U.S. has expressed about other aspects of Iranian policy, but the way to address these is not to move away from the one area where significant positive progress has been made. That remains our view, and I hope that the United States will reconsider this decision.
“I hope that all other parties to the agreement, including Iran but also the EU and others, will continue to implement the agreement. The Middle East, and the world, are safer and more stable with this agreement in operation.”
Coveney’s words reflected similar sentiments expressed by various European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May who, in a joint statement, said: “This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear programme. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.”
With Europe remaining a party to the JCPOA, European companies doing business with Iran, Irish ones included, could end up facing U.S. sanctions.
Meanwhile, Congressman Brendan Boyle, one of Irish America’s leading voices in Washington and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his opposition to President Trump’s decision.
Stated Boyle in part: “In 2015, I was one of 25 House Democrats to vote against the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA) because I believe it left too many important matters on the table.
“I was concerned by the amount of money that would be released to the regime and inevitably used for terrorism, rather than the Iranian people. I believed inspections could have been more stringent.
“I did not support the deal’s timetable. However, the deal was debated, advanced, and was ultimately signed by the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom upon the agreement to act in unison as allies to hold Iran to the deal or else impose severe consequences.
“Today, our alternative is not a “better deal,” it’s no deal.
“Unilaterally withdrawing now means undermining U.S. credibility on this and other related matters of world order, like denuclearizing North Korea; losing all access to international inspections of Iran’s nuclear activities; and giving the Iranians an excuse to race towards a nuclear bomb, this time with a large cash flow in hand.”