UK tries to persuade Trump to stick with Iran nuclear deal as deadline loomsPresident Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
Two British officials, including the U.K. prime minister, have reached out to President Donald Trump in an effort to dissuade him from dropping the Iran nuclear deal as the Oct. 15 deadline looms.
It has been reported that Trump wants to “decertify” the landmark Iran nuclear deal that was forged under his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called Trump on Tuesday to try and persuade him to stick with the deal, according to a report, and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralized [Iran’s] nuclear threat,” Johnson said in a statement released Tuesday night, according to a report in the Washington Examiner. “The U.K. supports the deal and stresses the importance of all parties continuing to uphold their commitments.”
“[May] reaffirmed the U.K.’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security,” according to a readout of the call, the Examiner reported. “The [prime minister] stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.”
The White House’s readout of the call stated: “Trump spoke today with [May] to address ways to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon. President 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,” the Examiner reported.
And, on Monday, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that there would be “negative consequences” for the U.S. if President Trump backs out of the landmark nuclear deal.
This would push the deal back to Congress, who would be forced to decide whether or not the U.S. will continue to abide by the terms of the deal, or go back to pre-2015 sanctions against Iran.
The President has until Oct. 15 to make a decision.
Trump has in the past said the deal is “one of the worst one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” and it is not in America’s best interest.
During his speech last month at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump accused Iran of funding terrorists and creating a dangerous missile arsenal. The Iranian President later came out and said flatly that Iran wants to strengthen its missile capabilities – and doesn’t intend to ask permission to do it. And, Iran revealed a new ballistic missile during a military parade there.
The Iranian nuclear deal was drawn up in 2015 with Iran, the U.S. and five other nations. Its framework includes stipulations that Iran would redesign, convert and reduce its number of nuclear facilities in order to lift nuclear-related economical sanctions, which would reportedly free up billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets for Iran. The U.S. and Iran also agreed to their own terms, along with terms penned with other nations.
President Trump had told the U.N. that the Iranian government “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy,” and that it has “turned a wealthy country with rich history and culture into a rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”
Trump said the oil profits Iran makes “fund terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack peaceful neighbors.”
“We can’t let this happen while they also build dangerous missiles. We can’t abide by the agreement if they eventually construct a nuclear program,” the President said, pointing out that the Iran deal was “one of the worst one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” and it’s an “embarrassment to the U.S.”
“I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me,” Trump said. “It’s time for the entire world to join us in telling Iran to stop pursuing death and destruction. […] Stop supporting terrorists.”
“We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we can not allow it to tear up our nation and the entire world,” the President added.
Reuters had reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the agreement needs to change or the U.S. would not continue abiding by it, but that Iran has said the deal can’t be renegotiated.
Following the President’s U.N. address, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Trump’s speech was “absurd” and that the President was “seriously ill-informed” about the deal.