Boris Johnson today appealed to President Trump not to torpedo “legitimate trade” with Iran that could save the nuclear deal from breaking down.
The Foreign Secretary said Britain and Europe were ready to save the 2015 deal which the US leader denounced as “rotten”.
“The UK and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it,” he told the Evening Standard ahead of talks in Brussels.
“I also call on the US to avoid any actions that could prevent the remaining parties to the agreement from meeting their commitments under the deal – including delivering sanctions relief through legitimate trade.”
Mr Johnson is meeting counterparts from France and Germany this morning in a race to salvage the deal, brokered by Barack Obama, which offers sanctions relief in return for Teheran shelving its programme to acquire nuclear warheads.
He said the allies would “raise our worries about Iran’s wider, disruptive, behaviour in the Middle East region” when they sit down with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is taking part in the talks.
Mr Trump has vowed to reimpose US sanctions on Iran, which could stop western companies striking business deals, including an estimated £440 billion worth of British deals in the pipeline. Iran is also set to buy 73 airliners from Airbus, the European manufacturer.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian and Germany’s Heiko Maas have allied with Britain to explore ways to save the deal, backed by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Theresa May used a telephone call with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to restate Britain’s commitment to upholding the Iran deal, while condemning Teheran’s missile attacks against Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.
Visiting London yesterday, Mr le Drian said the deal was “the only way to fight against the risk of [nuclear] proliferation”.
Iran is deemed by the allies to be “respecting” the agreement. But Mr Trump pulled out saying it was a “bad deal” that gave to much to Teheran and turned a blind eye to Iranian support for terrorism.