British diplomat-in-chief wants Iran deal to survive

Boris Johnson hails Iran nuclear agreement, says it’s also a model for resolving tensions with North Korea. 

By: Jack Ben-David, World Israel News

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed optimism Monday that the Iranian nuclear deal, forged under the leadership of former US President Barack Obama, will survive. The British chief diplomat hailed the agreement as a model for resolving mounting tensions between the US and North Korea.

Applauding the blend of “toughness but engagement,” he also commended Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for seeking dialogue with Pyongyang.

Johnson’s statements, which stand in sharp contrast to those made by President Donald Trump, are unlikely to result in a diplomatic backlash. On Sunday, in fact, Trump announced that France’s and Germany’s continued trading with Tehran would not lead to any political fallout.

‘You Just Keep Making Money’

“I told them, just keep making money. You just keep making money,” Trump told Fox News.

Insisting that France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel are “friends of mine,” Trump was keen to stress that he “get[s] along with all of them.”

Departing from his usual combative tone when disagreeing with world leaders, Trump did not try dictating to those European nations how to conduct their affairs vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how his administration intends to proceed in dealing with what it has frequently described as the foremost sponsor of global terror that is bent on acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

In a speech made almost two weeks ago, Trump announced his decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, calling for a “complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran” in order “to ensure that Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon.”

Delegating to Congress the responsibility to address what many opponents of the deal consider serious shortcomings, Trump did, however, warn that if they were unable to reach a solution, “the agreement will be terminated.”

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump made the Iran nuclear deal a central focus of condemnation for the previous administration, consistently denouncing it as “one of the worst deals.”

The deal, signed in 2015 by Iran and the Six Global Powers, led by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, cleared the way for billions of dollars to flow into Iranian coffers and for the removal of devastating sanctions imposed on that country.

Trump’s Stance in Agreement with Netanyahu’s

Trump’s more pugnacious stance toward Iran resonated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been one of the most vociferous opponents of the “very, very bad deal.”

Addressing the UN General Assembly in September, Netanyahu praised Trump’s speech as one of the boldest he has ever heard at the UN, lauding his decision to squarely confront the dangers posed by North Korea and Iran.