US President Donald Trump has called on the world’s major powers to abandon the “defective” Iran nuclear deal.

Trump said the “time has come” for Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to dump the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme and allow in international inspectors in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

But at a White House press conference on Wednesday, in which he gave his reaction to the overnight Iranian attacks on air bases housing US forces in Iraq, Trump said the “very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout”.

Trump said the US would immediately impose “additional punishing economic sanctions” on Tehran until Iran changes its behaviour,” citing the nuclear programme.

Since Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and started a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Iran, tensions have steadily escalated.

“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognise this reality,” the President added.

“They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal – or JCPOA – and we must all work together towards making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”

However, just hours before Trump’s remarks, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal remains the “best way of preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran”.