Updated: 09/05/18 : 07:24:34
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World :: European powers committed to Iran nuclear deal as Trump pulls plug

Western powers say they are committed to the Iran nuclear deal, after President Donald Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the agreement.

The UK, France and Germany urged the US not to obstruct its implementation.

They said they would work with the other signatories to the 2015 deal - Russia and China - which have stressed continuing support for the deal.

In response, Iran said it would restart uranium enrichment, if the agreement could not be salvaged.

In a statement, President Hassan Rouhani said: "I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in the coming weeks.

"If we achieve the deal's goals in co-operation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place."

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by the UN, US and EU.

In a televised address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the US would withdraw from the JCPOA. He called it a "horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made".

Rather than protecting the US and its allies, he said it had placed "very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity and no limits at all on its other malign behaviour, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen and other places".

The president added that the accord did not deal with Iran's development of ballistic missiles, and that its inspections mechanisms were not strong enough.

He said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.