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10/24/17

U.K. Foreign Minister Sees 'No Doubt' Iran Nuclear Deal Will Survive Despite Trump Move

Source: RFE/RL

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says there is "absolutely no doubt" the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers will survive despite the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump not to recertify the deal.

Johnson, in a London speech on foreign affairs on October 23, said after meeting with the "most influential figures" in the U.S. Congress -- "none of them fans of the Iranian regime" -- he was reassured Trump's action would not kill the landmark accord.

"I have absolutely no doubt that with determination and courage the [deal] can be preserved," Johnson said.

Under terms of the landmark accord, Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

Many U.S. and other officials see it as a way to slow Iran's potential path toward creating a nuclear weapon. Tehran says its nuclear program has purely peaceful aims.

Trump on October 13 stopped short of renouncing the accord but he refused to certify Iran's compliance, accusing Tehran of violating the "spirit" of the agreement, in part for its continued testing of ballistic missiles and its support for extremists in the Middle East.

Trump said he would ask lawmakers to strengthen a U.S. law to put additional pressure on Tehran, leaving the Republican-controlled Congress has 60 days to consider any amendments to agreement.

In his October 23 speech, the British foreign minister said the deal had been vital because Iran had been "only months away" from producing a nuclear weapon.

He did not criticize the U.S. president directly, saying Trump had "not junked" the accord and in fact had "continued to waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran."

Johnson acknowledged Tehran's "disruptive behavior" in the region, but added "that does not mean for one minute that we should write Iran off."

"On the contrary, we should continue to work to demonstrate to the [Iranian] population that they will be better off under this deal."

In reaction to Trump's move, U.S. allies Britain, France, and Germany reinforced their stance in favor of maintaining the hard-won deal, which they said was "in our shared national security interest."

European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini called the nuclear deal a "robust agreement" that is working and cannot be terminated by any one leader.

Russia and China are also signatories to the accord.


With reporting by AP, Reuters, BuzzFeed, and The Independent


Copyright (c) 2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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