In what proves to be a boost for President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he welcomed replacing the disastrous Obama-era Iran nuclear deal with a new agreement negotiated by the U.S. president.
“If we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal,” Johnson said.
In the interview with BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, the conservative prime minister said Trump “is a great deal maker.”
“President Trump is a great deal maker, by his own account and others,” Johnson said. “Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead.”
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) January 14, 2020
JCPOA being the acronym for the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the official name of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration.
For Johnson, the priority is to prevent the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism from getting a nuclear weapon.
“We’ve got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon… That’s what the Joint Comprehensive agreement does,” he said.
To the angst of the left, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018 and has imposed more sanctions on Tehran. It was reported in July that Iran violated the agreement’s restrictions on stockpiled low-enriched uranium set by the 2015 nuclear deal.
Johnson’s position in the BBC interview was inconsistent with a joint statement made with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, of France.
The leaders pledged allegiance to the JCPOA over the weekend, according to the Washington Examiner..
“Today, our message is clear: We remain committed to the JCPOA and to preserving it; we urge 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,” the three leaders said.
The Examiner noted that Johnson was under mounting pressure to side with Trump in the dispute with Iran after the detention of London’s ambassador to Tehran.
British Ambassador Rob Macaire was held for several hours as protests erupted across Iran on Saturday over the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet, which resulted in the deaths of 176 people.
Macaire said he attended a vigil for victims, which included British nationals, but left after five minutes when people began chanting anti-government messages. He added that he was arrested 30 minutes later.
“Thanks for the many goodwill messages. Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects – some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting,” he tweeted on Sunday.
— Rob Macaire (@HMATehran) January 12, 2020
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