EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has slammed the US for turning its back on its allies and has said that Brussels must take America’s place as global leader after Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Juncker, who is President of the European Commission, the bloc’s ruling body, made his remarks during an address to Belgium’s Flemish Regional Parliament in Brussels.
He said that the US “no longer wants to cooperate” with other parts of the world, and that it was turning away from friendly relations “with a ferocity that can only surprise us”.
Europe backs the 2015 deal, with French, German and British leaders saying that Trump’s decision to leave the accord is a threat to global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
The Mail Online reports: Trump has sparked fury in Tehran by withdrawing from the accord with politicians burning the US flag and the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning that ‘America can’t do a damn thing’.
As European powers scrambled to salvage the agreement today, Juncker said it was up to the EU to take on the mantle of the US, adding: ‘At this point, we have to replace the United States, which as an international actor has lost vigor, and because of it, in the long term, influence.’
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was seriously concerned and would be discussing the ‘acute’ situation.
However, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis insisted today that America will continue to work with allies to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon – despite Trump’s announcement yesterday.