Gulf Allies Applaud Trump Decision to Scrap Iran Nuclear Deal

CAIRO, EGYPT, Saudi Arabia gives support, Iran’s leaders fulminate and Egypt is expressing reservations, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, also known as the JCPOA.

Members of Iran’s parliament set fire to a U.S. flag Wednesday, following the decision Tuesday by Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed in a speech Tuesday the United States has a history of not respecting agreements.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a group of students Wednesday the United States was merely hostile to Iran’s existence, in general, and that Washington’s complaints about its missile program or nuclear energy program were “just excuses”.

He says the United States says it opposes Iran’s [ballistic] missile program or its nuclear energy program, but these are just excuses for its opposition to our presence in the Middle East in general and the existence of our Islamic Republic.

Gulf media reported the United States main Gulf Arab allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, expressed support for President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir tweeted that “We support and welcome the withdrawal of the United States from [the] Iran nuclear deal [and] support the decision to reinstate economic sanctions on Iran.”

Jubeir claimed, in a separate tweet, that “Iran took advantage of the economic benefits afforded by the lifting of sanctions and used them to continue its destabilizing activities in the region, especially by supporting terrorist organizations in the region, including Hezbollah and the Houthi militias.”

Overnight, the Houthis fired several missiles from along the Yemeni border towards the capital Riyadh. Saudi-owned al Arabiya TV reported Saudi air defenses shot down one missile and another crashed in an uninhabited region, causing no casualties.

Egypt, which is an ally of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, downplayed criticism of Trump’s decision. The Egyptian foreign ministry wrote, “Egypt understands the U.S. and international [desire] to address all regional and international concerns related to the nuclear deal with Iran and Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.”

Egypt, nevertheless, “expressed its hope that current developments will not result in any armed conflicts that would threaten regional stability or security.”

Source: Voice of America