World powers rally to defend value of Iran nuke accord

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Top diplomats from Germany, Russia, China and Italy insisted Thursday there can be no turning back on the Iran nuclear deal after President Donald Trump suggested that he may seek a renegotiation or simply walk away from the pact.

“How are we going to convince countries like North Korea that international agreements provide them with security — and in so doing make them commit to future disarmament efforts — if the only international example for such an endeavor being successful, the agreement with Iran, no longer has effect?” asked Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, addressing the U.N. General Assembly.

Italy’s U.N. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi said after a Security Council meeting that the escalating situation with North Korea should serve as a cautionary tale for not abandoning the Iran deal. “When you see the DPRK proliferation issue, which is not controlled of course because (it is) a rogue state, and then you have the kind of controlled agreement on Iran, that is the way to go.” DPRK is an acronym for North Korea’s official name.

Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in his address, called the Iran deal one of the “more important factors of regional and international security” today. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also reiterated support. No agreement is perfect, he said, but if the accord is discarded, the entire non-proliferation system would suffer, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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The chorus of international support was countered by a succession of senior Trump aides who repeated the president’s objections to the pact in television interviews on Thursday.

   In his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump called the accord “nothing short of an embarrassment” and the “worst one-sided deal perhaps in American history.”  He said the accord not only doesn’t prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it virtually assures they will be able to build one once certain limits on its atomic capabilities expire.

   Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the agreement and has said that any abandonment of the deal would lead it to immediately resume enrichment of uranium. Iran also has said it has no intention ever of acquiring nuclear weapons, but U.S. and Israel are among the countries that do not accept those assurances, citing…

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