WESTERN LEADERS continued to respond to United States president Donald Trump's  controversial move to dump Iran Nuclear deal on Wednesday.

Barack Obama, the former US president, hit back in a statement lauding the deal as a ''model for what diplomacy can accomplish.'' He criticized Trump for withdrawing from the JCPOA, saying :

''I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake.''

He warned in the absence of the JCPOA ''the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.''

France's Le drian, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] all said Iran was honouring its commitments under the accord.

The region deserves better than further destabilization provoked by American withdrawal,'' Le Drian said.

The European union said it would ensure sanctions on Iran remain lifted, as long as Tehran meets its commitments.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladamir Putin was ''deeply concerned'' by the withdrawal, the RIA news agency said.

Merkel said that, while the existing deal should not be called into question, there should be discussion of ''a broader deal that goes beyond it''.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spoke of a ''follow on agreement'' but said it was now up to Washington to come up with concrete proposals.

Macron said he wanted a broader discussion with all relevant parties on the development of Iran's nuclear programme after 2025, when key elements of the current deal expire, as well as Iran's ballistic missile programme and wider Middle East issues.

Iranian officials will next week meet counterparts from France, Britain and Germany.

Khamenei appeared sceptical whether they could deliver. ''I don't trust these countries.''


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