Middle East

Johnson urges Trump to ‘counter’ Tehran aggression by keeping Iran deal

Johnson will meet senior members of Trump administration to sell case for the Iran nuclear deal (Reuters)

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will urge the Trump administration to not "walk away" from the Iran nuclear deal, as diplomatic tensions continue to rise between Tehran and Washington.

Johnson will push for the case to keep the Iran Nuclear deal during a two-day visit, where he will meet Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton, Britain said.

Writing in the New York Times, Johnson described the deal as a means to "counter Tehran's aggressive regional behaviour" and urged Trump to "improve the handcuffs" on Iran "rather than break them."

The discussions in Washington will centre on Iran, North Korea, Syria and other issues, according to Britain's foreign ministry, and come ahead of a visit to Britain by Trump planned for July 13.

"On so many of the world's foreign policy challenges the UK and U.S. are in lockstep," Johnson said in a statement.

"The UK, U.S., and European partners are also united in our effort to tackle the kind of Iranian behaviour that makes the Middle East region less secure – its cyber activities, its support for groups like Hezbollah, and its dangerous missile programme, which is arming Houthi militias in Yemen," he added.

Trump said he wants to reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran lifted in 2015 in exchange for Iranian commitments to curb its nuclear programme.

He has given Britain, France and Germany – who still back the deal – a May 12 deadline to fix what he views as its flaws.

These include its failure to address Iran's ballistic missile programme, the terms by which inspectors visit suspect Iranian sites, and "sunset" clauses under which some terms expire.

Trump also caused upset in Britain and France on Saturday by suggesting U.S.-style gun rights might have stopped a recent surge in knife crime in London and past deaths from terrorist attacks in Paris.

Original Article

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