Iran nuclear deal: Johnson tells Trump ‘don’t walk away’

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged President Donald Trump not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, saying “it would be a mistake to walk away”.

Mr Johnson is in Washington to persuade the US to remain in the international accord, which saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear activities in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

The UK and its European allies have until 12 May to convince Mr Trump to stick with the agreement.

Mr Trump has called the deal “insane”.

Britain, France and Germany have been working behind the scenes for weeks in an effort to preserve the deal, which was orchestrated under the Obama administration, and includes Russia and China as signatories.

What has Mr Johnson said?

Writing in the New York Times, he argued that “only Iran would gain” from abandoning nuclear restrictions.

“Of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages,” he wrote.

Mr Johnson said the deal “has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied”, adding that the UK was working with the US, France and Germany to achieve that.

He said the deal had put restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme and “now that these handcuffs are in place, I see no possible advantage in casting them aside”, adding that the handcuffs should be improved, not broken.

UK ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, told US media: “We think that we can find some language, produce some action that meets the president’s concerns.”

While in Washington, Mr Johnson will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and foreign policy leaders in Congress.

He will not meet President Trump, but is expected to appear on the Fox & Friends morning news, which Mr Trump is known to watch avidly.

Why are there differences among the allies?

Mr Trump has called the deal the “worst ever” and has threatened to withdraw unless the signatories agree to fix its “disastrous flaws”.

He believes the terms are too lenient, in particular that the deal only limits Iran’s nuclear activities for a fixed period and fails to stop the development of ballistic missiles.

Source: BBC

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