European powers say they are committed to the Iran nuclear deal, after President Donald Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the agreement.

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by the UN, US and EU.Why did the US withdraw?

In a televised address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the US would withdraw from the JCPOA. He called it a “Horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made”.

The US Treasury said the sanctions would target industries mentioned in the deal, including Iran’s oil sector, aircraft manufacturers exporting to Iran and Iranian government attempts to buy US dollar banknotes.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton is reported as saying that European companies doing business in Iran will have to stop doing so within six months or face US sanctions.

The inconvenient truth for Donald Trump is that, as far as it goes, the nuclear deal was working.

The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, insisted the deal was “Not dead” and said there would be a meeting between France, Britain, Germany and Iran on Monday.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency.