Dutch Minister disappointed in Trump's withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Donald Trump withdrew the United States from an agreement with Iran that limits the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs calls this decision bad news for Dutch and European safety.

This agreement was made in 2015 after 12 years of negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security council - the U.S., Russia, China, France, England - and Germany. The aim of this agreement is to prevent Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon. The agreement states that Iran accepts restrictions to its nuclear activities and will allow supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. 

According to Trump, this "horrible, one-sided deal, is completely ineffective. "The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and - over time - reach the brink of a nuclear breakout. The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity", Trump said in his 11 minute long speech, according to NY Times. "In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime - and it's a regime of great terror - many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash - a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States."

Trump said that if this deal remains in place, "there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."

Dutch Minister Blok is disappointed by this decision. "[The Iran deal] contributes to stability in the region, and it contributes to the security of the Netherlands and Europe", he said, according to the Telegraaf. "It is and remains the best way to ensure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, based on very thorough inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Blok acknowledges that the current agreement is "not perfect" - there are concerns about the Iranian ballistic missile program and the Iranian role in the region must continue to be addressed. "But the agreement is a necessary result of 12 years of negotiations", he said. "The American decision takes us further away from home. The Netherlands will work with partners on a solution, for our safety and that of Europe."

The important thing now is to discuss this problem, according to Blok. "With the EU, but also with the Americans. To outline a new path and work on a solution." Next week Blok will be at a UN Security Council meeting in New York. Iran will "naturally be an prominent subject of discussion", he said.