News ID: 202183
Published: 1243 GMT October 11, 2017

May reaffirms commitment to Iran deal in call with Trump

May reaffirms commitment to Iran deal in call with Trump

British Prime Minister Theresa May has sided with her EU counterparts urging US President Donald Trump not to abandon the historic Iranian nuclear deal, as it is “vitally important for regional security”.

Theresa May reaffirmed Britain's commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal in a telephone conversation with Trump who has decided to decertify Iran’s compliance to the pact.

Trump has cast doubt on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which sought to put limits on Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting most Western sanctions, Reuters reported.

A senior US administration official said last week that Trump – who has criticized the pact as an “embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated,” – was expected to decertify Iran’s compliance ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline.

“The [prime minister] reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security,” said an emailed statement from May’s office following the call on Tuesday evening.

“[The prime minister] stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.”

In a separate statement, Britain's Foreign Office said Iran had upheld its nuclear commitments, adding to international pressure on Trump not to jeopardize security in the region.

“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.”

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday; on Wednesday he held a meeting with the head of Iran’s nuclear agency Ali Akbar Salehi in London to press for continued compliance with the deal.

Johnson had earlier called the deal, signed by former president Barack Obama, a “historic achievement.”

Britain and the United States are two of eight signatories to the deal, along with Iran, China, France, Russia, Germany and the European Union.

China, Russia and the European states have already expressed their continued support for the deal, while Iran has said Trump would not be able to undermine the pact.

French President Emmanuel Macron has previously said it would be a “big mistake” for the US to withdraw from the agreement.

“We do not want to see this agreement damaged… We urge the White House not to call into question such an important achievement that has improved our security,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said.

Trump’s administration has already certified the agreement twice (on April 18 and July 17), and the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is abiding by the agreement.

If Trump declines to certify Iran’s compliance, US congressional leaders would have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the agreement.

Earlier, the White House said Trump would make an announcement later this week on an “overall Iran strategy,” including whether to decertify the nuclear deal.



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