President Trump can be trusted to effectively renegotiate the Iranian nuclear deal, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during an interview on Tuesday.
The complimentary remark comes after escalating tensions between the United States and Iran resulted in the death of Iran’s top military commander.
Iran launched missiles into an Iraqi base housing U.S. troops, in retaliation, ultimately causing countries to reexamine peace talks and a potentially new nuclear agreement.
Johnson said the U.K. would come under pressure to jettison the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – signed between Iran and the U.S., U.K. Germany, France, Russia and China – but said the deal, known formally as the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) should be replaced in order to prevent Iran from 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 to BBC Tuesday morning.
President Trump previously called the Obama-negotiated Iranian deal “the worst deal ever” and announced he would be withdrawing the U.S. from it in May 2018. At the time, Trump claimed Iran was not adhering to previously agreed-upon conditions of the agreement. Trump also disagreed with aspects of the agreement which would lift restrictions for Iran’s nuclear program as they continued to operate under the agreement.
Johnson said the new American administration has a problem with the core elements of the nuclear deal and should be allowed to replace it.
“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 per CNBC.
“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,” the prime minister added.
“I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States, and Iran. Let’s dial this thing down,” Johnson also said, responding to a question about a potential full-scale war in the region.
“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,” he continued. “We need to work for peace.”