USA ambassador says United Kingdom should join Trump and put pressure on Iran

by Garry Watts August 15, 2018, 2:29
USA ambassador says United Kingdom should join Trump and put pressure on Iran

Johnson's comments come days after the U.K.'s Middle East minister Alistair Burt said Britain would not join the U.S.in sanctioning Iran, Reuters reported.

London has made clear it is committed to the JCPOA, but is open to talking to the United States about ways to address shared concerns about Iran's regional activities.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement after signing it in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, May 8, 2018. Trump has described the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a "horrible, one sided" agreement.

"We made it clear that we regard the nuclear deal as an important part of the region's security".

Iran had also warned a year ago that it enjoyed the capability to restore its uranium enrichment operations and even develop its capacity to 100,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) if the nuclear deal with the world powers failed as a result of the USA non-compliance with its undertakings.

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Iran and Iraq - enemies in a brutal eight-year war that ended in 1988 - have developed close ties since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003 by a USA -led invasion.

"Until then, America is turning up the pressure and we want the United Kingdom by our side", Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. The historic deal, backed by the US, Russia, and China, and negotiated by the European Union, saw the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran for ditching its nuclear program.

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said Iran needed to make tangible and sustained changes to behave like a normal country.

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, joined with his French and German counterparts last week to voice their "deep regret" at Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and vow to protect European companies from USA reprisals if they continue to trade with Iran.

May's position is likely to become even more awkward in the coming days as she's forced to choose between European leaders, whose support she needs for a favorable Brexit deal or a USA leader determined to secure EU compliance with reimposed sanctions on Iran, fear British officials.

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