Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury
I am horrified at the sheer recklessness of Donald Trump’s statement withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran, which I fear will have very grave consequences for the Middle East and for the World.
Below you can see the official statement I have issued in response on behalf of the Labour Party, and as ever, I’d be very grateful to hear your thoughts. Indeed, I suspect before this issue is resolved, we will not just all need to raise our voices but get into the streets and march – once again – for peace.
Statement by the Shadow Foreign Secretary on Donald Trump’s announcement on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran:
The whole world should stand united in condemning this reckless, senseless and immoral act of diplomatic sabotage by Donald Trump; one which immediately risks plunging the Middle East into deeper destruction, chaos and conflict.
As every independent inspection has confirmed, the nuclear deal is working; Iran is complying in full; and it is simply false that Iran is continuing its nuclear programme. On the back of the success of this deal, we also have a platform to make real progress with Iran on other issues, including its ballistic missile programme, its regional activities, and its record on human rights.
If the nuclear deal is torn up, we not only destroy that platform for future progress, we risk triggering a rapid nuclear arms race in the Middle East, we risk the hardline theocrats seizing all the reins of power in Tehran, and we risk the descent into an unimaginable conflict with Iran, a country nine times the size of Syria, with a population as big as Germany’s.
Donald Trump is taking all those risks without a single care, without the slightest justification, and without the simplest rational thought as to what will come next. In doing so, he is also telling North Korea that there is no point negotiating an agreement with the US on denuclearisation, because it will not be worth the paper it is written on.
The fact that Donald Trump has announced America’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal in the most destructive and immediate way possible shows how determined he is to scupper any chance of keeping the deal on track. Nevertheless, that is what Britain, the EU, China and Russia must now try to do. We urge Iran not to respond in kind to this confrontational act, but strain every sinew working with the other signatories to try and save the deal, stop firms trading with Iran from facing financial penalties, and prevent a descent into conflict.
More broadly, if we did not know it before, what today’s announcement confirms is that – as long as Donald Trump remains President – we must get used to a world without American leadership. A world where efforts to secure peace and progress on the great challenges facing the planet must be made not just without American cooperation, but often in the face of this administration’s active opposition. That is the task we now face in relation to Iran, and the UK government must show it is up to it.