Mon, Aug 13, 2018 - Page 5 News List

US envoy urges UK to ditch support for Iranian pact

Reuters, LONDON

The US yesterday urged Britain to ditch its support for a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and instead join forces with Washington to counter the global threat it says Tehran poses.

Despite opposition from European allies, US President Trump in May pulled the US out of a deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson criticized Tehran for funding “proxy wars and malign activities” instead of investing in its economy.

He said Iran needed to make tangible and sustained changes to behave like a normal country.

“Until then, America is turning up the pressure and we want the UK by our side,” Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. “It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal. We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort towards a genuinely comprehensive agreement.”

Asked about Johnson’s article, the British foreign office pointed to comments from Minister of State for the Middle East Alistair Burt, who last week ruled out Britain going along with the US.

Burt said the deal was an important part of regional security and that, with the EU, the government was trying to protect British companies from the US sanctions when dealing with Iran.

Britain remained open to talks with the US on how to address concerns about Iran, he said.

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