Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal

It is now clear that President Trump has decided that the United States will withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump’s decision is deeply regrettable. It risks seriously undermining international peace and security architecture. The decision also risks negative repercussions for global non-proliferation efforts. The Swedish Government will now closely study and analyse the effects of the decision – bilaterally, in the EU and in the United Nations Security Council. President Trump’s announcement on the introduction of new sanctions is particularly concerning. It is, however, too soon to determine its full consequences.

We continue to stand united with the EU in our full support for the deal and its implementation. Sweden and the EU will work to preserve the JCPOA. It is now important that the deal continues to be respected and that Iran continues to fulfil its commitments. There is also strong EU support for broad and close relations with Iran, including on issues concerning the human rights situation. This is about doing what best promotes the forces of good in Iran and yields the best results. In parallel, although we view Iran’s ballistic missile programme with concern, this must be handled separately from the JCPOA.

The 2015 nuclear deal was negotiated over a period of 10 years and is one of the greatest successes of our time for diplomacy, peaceful conflict resolution, prevention of armed conflict, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The JCPOA has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Provided the JCPOA is implemented, the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons development is averted during the period the deal applies. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran is living up to its commitments, which has been welcomed by the Swedish Government and the EU. The deal also reduces tensions in the region and the risk of armed conflict.

There is currently no alternative plan. In a time of conflict in the Middle East, we must avoid further uncertainty and polarisation. The international community must take constructive steps to reduce the tension and find political solutions to ongoing conflicts.