By: Jo Siedlecka
Peace campaigners have described President Donald Trump's decision to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran as 'extremely dangerous' and potentially 'catastrophic' for the Middle East and the world.
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi told ICN: "The words and actions of Mr Trump with regard to the 2015 Iran Deal bring dangers at several levels. They threaten the fragile peace of the Middle East, they challenge the headway made in recent weeks in the Korean Peninsula and they undermine the process of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty. The US has, in a way, isolated itself from the moves that are being made globally to rid the world of nuclear weapons, taking a dangerous and arrogant posture in relation to Iran.
Bruce Kent, vice chair of Pax Christi and CND said: "President Trump's threats to Iran, and all those who signed the current nuclear weapons agreement, is painful to watch. International inspectors have made it clear that Iran has honoured its commitments. Multilateral disarmament agreements are too rare and too precious to be casually abandoned.
"Since the United States, under the Trump administration, is spending millions on 'improving' its own nuclear arsenals what right has it to lecture other countries? A nuclear weapon free world is highly desirable. President Trump is making it much less likely."
The Stop the War coalition said in a statement: "President Trump's decision to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran could send the Middle East careering down the path of another catastrophic senseless war. This comes despite pressure from the other signatories to the agreement who all want to keep it. Scrapping the deal compromises the entire international framework for non-violent conflict resolution.
"Now the US has broken the nuclear deal, Iran is free to reconstitute its nuclear programme and quickly move ahead. It could install more centrifuges and produce as much enriched uranium or plutonium as it wants. If US officials are troubled by Iran's foreign policy now, imagine how much more powerful a nuclear-armed Iran would be. At present Israel is the only country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East, yet it is Israel who urged Trump to scrap the deal. There must be progress towards a nuclear free Middle East."
"The decision gives an even greater urgency for the national demonstration against Trump's visit which is scheduled for 13th July. This will be the first chance for tens of thousands of people throughout Britain opposed to Trumps warmongering and racist rhetoric to take to the streets, vent their anger and give a clear message to the rest of the world that Trump will meet opposition wherever he goes."
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition said: "Trump is showing his true colours here as a warmonger, not a peace maker. This is an extremely dangerous development which presages more war not less in the region. Anti-war campaigners are part of a mass coalition which is organising to protest Trump's visit in July and to make sure that he is aware of opposition to his plans. Opposition to war means opposition to Trump."
Christian CND issued the following statement just before Trump made his announcement: "As Christians we are called to be peacemakers. Despite its imperfections the Iran Nuclear Deal has helped maintain some stability in the Middle East and to start to rebuild some trust between nations. It has given hope to many that we are not inevitably set on a path towards increasing tensions, nuclear proliferation and potential destruction. It sets an example of peace-building which could be further built upon, and replicated elsewhere. It is one part of an answer to many of our prayers. For the United States to pull out of this arrangement now would be an act of recklessness and cynicism. We are praying for those involved in this decision and urge Christian CND supporters to do the same."
After the news broke, Christian CND tweeted: "Deeply disappointing that Trump and the US will be violating the #irandeal. It makes war more likely and building a lasting peaceful future based on trust harder."