Ramaphosa concerned by Trump’s withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Trump on Wednesday announced his country would withdraw from the agreement between China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany and Iran.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa says he’s concerned by a US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it a step back.

Trump on Wednesday announced his country would withdraw from the agreement between China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany and Iran.

Ramaphosa says the agreement was established in the interest of regional and international peace and security and has urged the other parties accord to continue to honour their commitments.

At the same time, MTN Group said on Wednesday that Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord may limit the South African telecoms firm’s ability to repatriate cash from MTN Irancell, sending its shares lower.

Trump said on Tuesday he would reimpose US economic sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the agreement he had harshly criticized.

In 2018, the company had repatriated about €88 million ($104.26 million) from MTN Irancell, including €61 million relating to the 2017 dividend due to MTN as well as a further €27 million of historic dividends.

The remaining balance due to MTN is about €200 million, MTN said, adding it was committed to its investment in Irancell and to repatriating the balance of legacy cash.

The company said it will continue to monitor the situation, including the response of the Iranian authorities and the other members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

MTN’s shares were down 2.6% at 0745 GMT after earlier falling over 3%.