An Iranian in New Zealand who runs his business between the two countries says the US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal could have a devastating impact on the Iranian economy.

US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, which he called a "horrible one-sided deal".

In doing so, he dealt a profound blow to allies and deepened his isolation on the world stage.

Trump's decision means Iran's government must now decide whether to follow the US and withdraw or try to salvage what's left of the deal. Iran has offered conflicting statements about what it may do — and the answer may depend on exactly how Trump exits the agreement.


One official briefed on the decision said Trump would move to reimpose all sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 deal, not just the ones facing an immediate deadline.

As the dust settled following the announcement, an Iranian tour operator who moved to New Zealand five years ago said the news was not overly surprising.

However the businessman, who wanted to be known only as Mehdi, said it still came as a blow to the average person living in Iran.

Looming sanctions would severely limit the economy's ability to flourish, he said, and would impact everyday people like his family through multiple flow-on effects.

The withdrawal has undercut aircraft deals struck by Iranian carriers during a brief opening for trade created by the deal. Both Boeing and Airbus' export licences to Iran would be revoked.

Mehdi said this fallout was sad for those working in the industry and worrying for customers.

"The first thing I did was checking the Airbus and Boeing reaction to withdrawal as it matters to me and every other Iranian," he said.

"Iranian airlines need to renew their fleets as they are very old, as the result of withdrawal, it's again very hard to do that," he said.


"I'm talking about health and safety that affects the life of normal people."

Mehdi said any flow-on effect for New Zealand would depend on how European countries and Iran reacted without the US.

"If they manage and stabilise the situation, I don't think it changes the number of visitors dramatically.

"But as I mentioned before, it makes it harder to trade with Iran ... transferring money will be more complicated which will affect directly businesses like myself in New Zealand."

Jiyar Aghapouri, who holds a PhD in politics and international relations, said he had predicted Trump would make this sort of move.

Aghapouri, 33, moved to New Zealand from Iran in 2013. A lot of his family who remained in Iran were "very sad" about the current economic situation in Iran.

He said he had been closely monitoring the Iranian news since the story broke and it appeared there were very mixed responses.

Those from the lower classes were largely "indifferent", he said.

He said they had not benefited from the Iran deal, and had nothing to lose from Trump's decision.

"But those people who are in relation with currency or business, especially those involved in external markets, they are not happy about this.

"It is one of the worst catastrophes at the moment," he said.

Aghapouri said the past month had already seen the Iranian currency drop dramatically. He expected it to dip further following this development.

Former President Barack Obama has spoken out, chiding his successor and dubbing the move a "serious mistake".

"Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East," he said.

If the deal falls apart because of Trump's action, Obama warned, "We could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it."