Johnson says he would back 'Trump deal' to replace 2015 Iran nuclear accord
Britain's Prime Minister said that he would support a deal negotiated by Trump to replace the 2015 nuclear accord.
The PM told the BBC on Tuesday that the country would come under pressure to jettison the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and added that the accord known formally as the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) should be replaced to stop Iran from further developing nuclear weapons.
“We’re going to come under pressure, everybody will say, ‘well you’ve got to get rid of this nuclear deal, the JCPOA,’ that’s what Trump wants. My point to our American friends is, look, somehow or other we’ve got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon, that’s what the JCPOA does, but if we’re going to get rid of it, then we need a replacement,” Johnson said.
Johnson added that if the US could not tolerate the deal as it stood, another would have to be negotiated by Trump.
“The problem with the agreement is that from the American perspective it’s a flawed agreement, it expires, plus it was negotiated by (former) President Obama and from their point of view it has many, many faults. Well, if we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal, that’s what we need to see,” he said.
“I think that would be a great way forward. President Trump is a great dealmaker, by his own account and many others, let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and to get the Trump deal instead,” Johnson added.
Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated recently creating concerns about a potential armed conflict.
The US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and a number of other countries including the UK in 2018, alleging that it failed to permanently curb Iran's nuclear programme and criticising the fact that Tehran's ballistic missile programme was left out.
Furthermore, Iran had continued to prosecute multiple conflicts in the region via proxies.
Since then, the US had imposed sanctions on Iran and the Middle Eastern country attacked a Saudi Aramco plant. More recently, the US carried out an operation that killed top military officer in Iran, Qasem Soleimani.
Iran retaliated by attacking US military bases in Iraq without provoking any casualties.
Johnson emphasized that he did not want to see a military conflict in the Middle East. “I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States, and Iran. Let’s dial this thing down.”
“Iran, when you look at it, is an amazing country. It’s eight million people, it has a young population, they’re literate, they should be orientated towards free markets, towards our way of doing things, and yet they’re the captives and prisoners of this approach of the (Iranian) government that they have.”
“Well, we’re not easily going to change the government but we need to engage with the people of Iran and we need to work for peace.”
The day before, Johnson and his German and French counterparts Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, issued a statement in which they reiterated their commitment to the deal but urged Iran “to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance; we call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation; and we remain ready to engage with Iran on this agenda in order to preserve the stability of the region.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Johnson said there had been a “good European response.”
“The UK played its traditional role which is to serve as the bridge between the European powers and U.S.,” Johnson said.