Iran Pact Vitally Important

Iran Pact Vitally Important	Iran Pact Vitally Important

British Prime Minister Theresa May has reaffirmed her country’s commitment to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump ahead of a key US decision on whether Tehran has stuck to the terms of the pact.

Trump has cast doubt on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which sought to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting most western economic sanctions. A senior US administration official said last week that Trump, who has criticized the pact as an “embarrassment”, was expected to decertify Iran’s compliance ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline.

“The [prime minister] reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security,” said a statement from May’s office following the call on Tuesday evening, Reuters reported.

“[The prime minister] 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 [government] accountable for its [alleged] malign and destabilizing activities, especially its sponsorship of terrorism and its development of threatening missiles.” In a separate statement, Britain’s Foreign Office said Iran had upheld its nuclear commitments, adding to international pressure on Trump not to jeopardize security in the region.

  Security Implications

“The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralized Iran’s nuclear threat,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

Tehran said its nuclear work is only for peaceful purposes.

“It was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security both in the region and in the UK. It is these security implications that we continue to encourage the US to consider.”

Johnson spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday and met on Wednesday with the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, in London to press for continued compliance with the deal. May and Trump also discussed the need for Britain, the United States and others to work together to counter Iranian activities in the region, May’s office said. Britain and the United States are two of eight signatories to the deal, along with Iran, China, France, Russia, Germany and the European Union.

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

If Trump declines to certify Iran’s compliance, US congressional leaders would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the agreement. May’s office said she agreed with Trump that their teams should remain in contact ahead of the decision on recertification.

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