US announcement of withdrawal from nuclear agreement with Iran and reaction from European stakeholders

Author (Person) ,
Series Details May 2018
Publication Date 18/05/2018
Content Type


The President of the United States announced on 8 May 2018 the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a deal agreed with Iran to curb its nuclear weapons programme. The move caused international outcry, not the least among stakeholders across Europe and the European Union.

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The leaders of Germany, the United Kingdom and France issued a joint statement in response, stating they would continue to stick by the agreement despite the US withdrawal.

The European Commission vowed to work on plans to protect 'the interests of the European companies' operating in Iran. The EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy highlighted that the nuclear deal 'is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally.'

The decision was likely to impact European companies, as they were given six months to cease all activities with Iran or face sanctions from the United States. On 16 May 2018, French energy company Total announced it would conclude its operation in Iran unless it was given exemption from those sanctions. On that same day, the European Commission discussed measures to preserve the Agreement and protect European interests.

In June 2018 the European Commission adopted a set of actions to deliver on those concerns.

Related Links
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 09.05.18: By Pulling Out of Nuclear Deal, Trump Hands Gift to Iranian Hardliners
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BBC News, 16.05.18: Total set to pull out of Iran gas deal without sanctions waiver
Total: Press Release, 16.05.18: US withdrawal from the JCPOA: Total’s position related to the South Pars 11 project in Iran
Euro|topics, May 2018: What will Europe make of the nuclear deal?
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Spiegel Online International, 18.05.18: Iran Crisis. Trump Drives Wedge Between Germany and France

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