World leaders condemn US "unilateral action" over Iran

Over 100 European political, diplomatic and military leadership figures are appealing to President Trump not to take unilateral action that “would jeopardise the deal and trigger a crisis in US-Europe relations.”

Last September participants in the European Leadership Network urged President Trump and the US Congress to stick with the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA) for the sake of US relations with Europe, regional stability and Europe’s security.

But this January, President Trump made clear that he would not waive US nuclear sanctions again on 12 May without action by European Allies and legislation by the US Congress.

Despite this, the US this week said it would exit the Iran agreement, much to the anger of its EU allies. The United States will not remain in the JCPOA after 12 May, despite an appeal to the US congress  from over 500 French, German and British members of parliament.

European signatories of the JCPOA – France, Germany and the UK – are concluding a package of measures on Iran with the US Administration that President Trump should count as a victory and that gives Congress a basis on which to legislate. 

A statement signed by the UK and others (see below for full details) said,”We support these parliamentarians in the view that US-Europe relations are vital for security in Europe and stability in the region.  Those relations, already shaken, would be further damaged by a US failure to meet its commitments under the JCPOA when the Iranians are meeting theirs.

“Failure to waive US nuclear sanctions on Iran would put the United States in material breach of an agreement that has been endorsed by the international community through the UN Security Council and that is important to the security of Europe. We believe that Europe, Russia and China would continue the deal with Iran, leaving the US isolated and weakened in handling challenges like North Korea.  For the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA would be to shoot itself in the foot.

“Given developments in the Middle East and North Korea, President Trump’s decision is more important than ever.  We urge Washington to stay united with European capitals on the Iran nuclear deal.”


United Kingdom

1.      Lord Robertson of Port Ellen (George Robertson), former Defence Secretary, former Secretary General of NATO

2.      Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne), former British Defence Secretary, current Chair of the ELN and Member of the UK House of Lords

3.      Lord King of Bridgwater (Tom King), former Defence Secretary, Conservative Peer in the House of Lords

4.      Margaret Beckett MP, Current Labour MP in the UK Parliament, former British Foreign Secretary

5.      The Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC, former Conservative MP in the UK Parliament, current chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and former British Defence Secretary and former Foreign Secretary

6.      General Sir John McColl, former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) and Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey

7.      Admiral the Lord Boyce (Michael Boyce), former Chief of Defence Staff and First Sea Lord, Crossbench Peer in the UK House of Lords

8.      Admiral the Lord West of Spithead (Alan West), former First Sea Lord of the British Navy and current member of the House of Lords

9.      Sir Tony Brenton, Former UK Ambassador to Russia

10. The Rt Hon. the Lord Campbell of Pittenweem CH CBE QC (Sir Menzies Campbell), former Liberal Democrat MP in the UK Parliament, former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the UK Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

11. Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary

12. Stephen Gethins MP, Scottish National Party MP for North East Fife

13. Lord Hannay of Chiswick (David Hannay), Former Ambassador to the EU and to the UN; current Chair of UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation in the UK Parliament

14. Lord Kerr of Kinlochard (John Kerr), former Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service

15. Tom McKane, former Director General for Strategy and Security Policy, Ministry of Defence

16. Lord David Ramsbotham, House of Lords, Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords

17. General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB, CBE, DSO, DL (David Richards), former Chief of the Defence Staff, member of the House of Lords

18. The Rt Hon. Sir John Stanley, former Minister for the Armed Forces, former Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls

19. Lord Triesman (David Triesman), former Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), former Chairman of the Football Association and former General Secretary of the Labour Party

20. Lord Wallace of Saltaire PC (William Wallace), former Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office in the House of Lords and former Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

21. Baroness Williams of Crosby (Shirley Williams), ICNND Commissioner, Advisor on Non-Proliferation issues to Gordon Brown, former Leader of the House of Lords and Peer in the House of Lords


22. Hubert Védrine, former Minister of Foreign Affairs

23. Paul Quilès, former Defence Minister and former President of the Defence and Armed Forces Committee of the National Assembly of France

24. Ambassador Benoit d’Aboville, former French Permanent Representative to NATO (2000 – 2005) and Ambassador to Prague and Warsaw, current Vice President of the Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique in Paris

25. Alain Coldefy, Former General Inspector of the French Armed Forces

26. Michel Duclos, Former Ambassador to the WEU, Former Ambassador to Syria

27. General (Ret.) Bernard Norlain, former Air Defence Commander and Air Combat Commander in the French Air Force and Military Advisor to Prime Minister Michel Rocard

28. Pierre Vimont, former Executive Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS)


29. Volker Rühe, former German Defence Minister

30. Rudolf Scharping, former Defence Minister of Germany

31. Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, current Chair of the Munich Security Conference and co-chair of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany

32. Roderich Kiesewetter, CDU member of the German Bundestag

33. Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and former Under-Secretary-General for Management in the United Nations

34. Katja Keul, member of the German Bundestag and former member of the Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Parliamentary Secretary of the Alliance 90/The Greens Parliamentary Group, former Member of the Defence Committee

35. General (Ret.) Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr, German Armed Forces, Former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

36. Karsten Voigt, Former Chairman of the German-Russian parliamentary group in the Bundestag; Former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO

37. Klaus Wittmann, former Bundeswehr general, Senior Fellow Aspen Institute Germany

38. Uta Zapf, former member of the German Bundestag Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation


39. Ambassador Vyacheslav Trubnikov, former Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, current member of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) and member of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI)

40. Ambassador Alexander Bessmertnykh, former Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Soviet Ambassador to Washington

41. Ambassador Boris Pankin, Ambassador of RF (Ret), former  Foreign Minister of the USSR (1991)

42. Dmitry Polikanov, Vice-President at PIR-Centre and former Deputy Head of the “United Russia” Central Committee

43. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive board, member of RIAC, Lt-General (ret)

44. Alexey Arbatov, Head of the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations

45. Anatoli Diakov, Director at Centre for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

46. Sergey Rogov, Director of Institute for US and Canadian Studies Moscow, Russia

47. Dr Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center

48. Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Management Board, Institute of Contemporary Development (ICD)

49. Fyodor Lukyanov, editor in chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy


50. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Danish Foreign Minister

51. Mogens Lykketoft, former Foreign Minister of Denmark



52. Ambassador Jaakko Blomberg, former Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland

53. Tarja Cronberg, Former Member of the European Parliament, Former Chair of the European Parliament Iran delegation, Former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee of Security and Defence

54. Ambassador Jaakko Iloniemi, former Finnish Minister of State, former Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

55. Admiral (ret.) Juhani Kaskeala, former Commander of Finnish Defence Forces, Former member of the Military Committee of the European Union

56. Ambassador (Ret.) Jaakko Laajava, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy

57. Elisabeth Rehn, former Defence Minister of Finland, current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, at the ICC, Independent expert of the United Nations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Governments and NGOs on Peace Building and Crisis Management, with a focus on UNSCR 1325/2000

58. Professor Raimo Väyrynen, former Director at Finnish Institute of International Affairs


59. Giorgio La Malfa, Former Minister of European Affairs of Italy

60. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, former Minister of Defence

61. Arturo Parisi, former Italian Defence Minister and current member of the Italian Parliamentary delegation at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

62. Stefano Stefanini, Former Permanent Representative to NATO, Former Diplomatic Advisor to the President of Italy

63. Giancarlo Aragona, Former Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

64. Professor Francesco Calogero, Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at the Italy Universita di Roma La Sapienza, former Secretary General of Pugwash

65. General Vincenzo Camporini, Former Chief of the Joint Defence Staff, Italy

66. Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Professor of Theoretical Physics/ General Secretary of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Italy

67. Professor Carlo Schaerf, Director and Chairman of the Board of the International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts (ISODARCO)


68. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Former Secretary General of NATO, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

69. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, former Defence Minister

70. Bert Koenders, former Foreign Minister

71. Professor Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former Deputy Foreign Minister of the Netherlands

72. Professor Klaas de Vries, former Minister of Home Affairs


73. Espen Barth Eide, Member of Parliament, former Minister of Defence, former Minister of Foreign Affairs

74. Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway and current President of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights

75. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Deputy Chair of The Elders and Board Member of the United Nations Foundation

76. Kåre Willoch, former Prime Minister of Norway


77. Bogdan Klich, former Minister of Defence

78. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, former Defence Minister of Poland and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Euro-Atlantic Association

79. Professor Dr. Adam Rotfeld, former Polish Foreign Minister, former Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)


80. Dr Ana Palacio, former Foreign Minister and former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, member of the Spanish Council of State

81. Narcis Serra, former Defence Minister

82. Professor Javier Solana, former Foreign Minister; Former Secretary-General of NATO; Former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution


83. Mr Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister

84. Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, former Swedish Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament

85. Henrik Salander, Former Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Secretary-General of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission


86. Mustafa Aydın, Rector of Kadir Has University (Istanbul) and President of the International Relations Council of Turkey

87. Hikmet Çetin, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey

88. Ünal Çeviköz, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom

89. Vahit Erdem, Ambassador, former head of the Turkish Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and former Secretary General of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

90. Mustafa Kibaroglu, Chair of the International Relations Department, Okan University

91. Faruk Loğoğlu, former Ambassador to the US and currently a member of The Grand National Assembly of Turkey

92. Ambassador Özdem Sanberk,former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


93. Fatmir Mediu, former Albanian Defence Minister


94. Wolfgang Petritsch, former EU Special Envoy to Kosovo and former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina


95. Willy Claes, former Secretary General of NATO, Belgium


96. Dr Solomon Passy, former Foreign Minister

97. Professor Todor Tagarev, former Defence Minister, Head of “IT for Security” Department & the Centre for Security and Defence Management IICT at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


98. Budimir Loncar, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of former Yugoslavia

99. Professor Ivo Šlaus, former member of parliament and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Czech Republic

100.                     Jan Kavan, former President of the UN General Assembly, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic


101.                     Ambassador Tedo Japaridze, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and former Minister of Foreign Affairs


102.                     János Martonyi, former Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs

103.                     Ambassador Balázs Csuday, Current Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Vienna


104.                     Ricardo Baptista Leite, MD, Member of Parliament


105.                     Goran Svilanović, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council


106.                     Borys Tarasyuk, former Foreign Minister and former Ambassador to NATO

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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