Theresa May ‘pressures’ Trump over Iran nuclear deal

The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – London

Theresa May has directly pressured Donald Trump not to tear up the international nuclear deal with Iran as part of a stepping-up in British diplomatic efforts to save the agreement.

The Prime Minister spoke to the United States’ president on Tuesday evening, days ahead of his expected announcement that he will refuse to certify the 2015 deal.

Mrs May told Mr Trump the agreement is “vitally important for regional security”, while stressing that it must be “carefully monitored and properly enforced”. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the deal had “undoubtedly made the world a safer place”, and pressed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call on Tuesday.

Mr Trump repeatedly denounced the deal – under which Iran agreed to give up nuclear weapons programmes in return for the lifting of economic sanctions – during his election campaign. And last month he called the deal “an embarrassment to the United States” while attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Failure to certify the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) would trigger a 60-day period during which the US Congress would have to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

Mr Johnson was meeting Iranian vice president Dr Ali Akhbar Salehi in London on Wednesday to press for Iran’s continued compliance with the agreement. Speaking ahead of the meeting with Dr Salehi, the Foreign Secretary said: “The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralised its nuclear threat.“The UK supports the deal and stresses the importance of all parties continuing to uphold their commitments.

“We have made no bones about our deep concern at Iran’s destabilising regional activity, including its ballistic missile programme, but I remain steadfast in my view that the nuclear deal was an historic achievement that has undoubtedly made the world a safer place. “It was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK. It is these security implications that we continue to encourage the US to consider.” Foreign Office political director Karen Pierce met French, German and EU counterparts on Tuesday evening to discuss the European position on the JCPoA. On Tuesday, Mr Johnson also spoke by telephone with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif to underline the benefits of the nuclear deal.

The Foreign Secretary also raised concerns about the detention in Iran of all dual UK-Iranian nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was arrested as she tried to leave Tehran last year with her daughter Gabriella following a holiday.

The charity worker was accused of plotting to topple the regime, which she denies, and later sentenced to five years in prison. The White House said the President and the Prime Minister had discussed “ways to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon”. A spokesman said: “President Trump underscored the need to work together to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its malign and destabilising activities, especially its sponsorship of terrorism and its development of threatening missiles.”

Source : scotsman

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