Hundreds of lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain have called on their counterparts in the U.S. Congress to support the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, calling it a “major diplomatic breakthrough.”
The initiative came as U.S. President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to either improve or scrap the deal providing Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.
"We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear program, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically diminish the danger of a nuclear arms race," reads a statement signed by some 500 MPs from the German, British, and French national parliaments and posted online on April 19.
Britain, Germany, and France are signatories to the nuclear accord, along with the United States, China, and Russia.
Trump accuses Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement and has called on European powers to "fix" what he says are the "terrible flaws" of the agreement. He wants new restrictions to be imposed on Tehran's nuclear and missile programs.
"It is the U.S.'s and Europe's interest to prevent nuclear proliferation in a volatile region and to maintain the transatlantic partnership as a reliable and credible driving force of world politics," the European lawmakers said.
They wrote that abandoning the accord would result "in another source of devastating conflict in the Middle East and beyond," would “diminish the value of any promises or threats made by our countries,” and would damage “our credibility as international partners in negotiation, and more generally, to diplomacy as a tool to achieve peace and ensure security."
“We therefore urge you to stand by the coalition we have formed to keep Iran‘s nuclear threat at bay,” they added.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will both travel to Washington next week on separate official visits, in part to convince Trump not to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.