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UK Reaffirms Commitment to Iran Nuclear Deal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. Reuters file photo

London- British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson met on Thursday with the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akhbar Salehi, after UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump discussed during a phone conversation Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Johnson held talks with Salehi, who is also Iran’s vice president, in London “to press for Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPoA,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement published on its website.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) signed in 2015 by Tehran and the P5+1 has sought to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting most Western economic sanctions.

Johnson had held phone calls with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to reiterate “Britain’s support for the Iran nuclear deal ahead of a US deadline to recertify Iranian compliance,” the Foreign Office said.

“The UK, France and Germany are clear that while Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region are unacceptable, the regime has upheld its nuclear commitments,” the statement said.

“The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralized Iran’s nuclear threat. The UK supports the deal and stresses the importance of all parties continuing to uphold their commitments,” it quoted Johnson as saying.

“We have made no bones about our deep concern at Iran’s destabilizing regional activity, including its ballistic missile program, but I remain steadfast in my view that the nuclear deal was an historic achievement that has undoubtedly made the world a safer place,” the minister added.

A statement from May’s office following the call with Trump on Tuesday evening said: “The (prime minister) reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security.”

May “stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.”

In contrast, a White House statement on the phone call said Trump “underscored the need to work together to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its malign and destabilizing activities, especially its sponsorship of terrorism and its development of threatening missiles.”

May and Trump also discussed the need for Britain, the United States and others to work together to counter destabilizing Iranian activity in the region, May’s office said.

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