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UK to soften Trump over Iran deal: Johnson

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says he will try to soften US President-elect Donald Trump’s opposition to the nuclear deal reached between Iran and P5+1 in July 2015.

Boris also said that the British government is committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) struck between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

“The government remains committed to the nuclear deal in Iran and we look forward to working with the new administration in the United States to make it a success,” Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday.

Trump, who won the US election after defeating his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on November 8, had, on numerous occasions, vowed to “tear up” the deal or try to renegotiate its terms.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran

Trump walks through the lobby of the New York Times following a meeting with editors of the paper on November 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by AFP)

The opponents of the deal in the US Congress have also been threatening that a future US administration opposed to the agreement would scrap it.

However, Johnson said, “We in this country, in this government, do think there’s merit in the deal,” adding, “We should be positive about our engagement and keep it on the road.”

He also talked about the improvement of ties between London and Tehran post-Iran deal, saying, for instance, Vodafone Group Plc and Lotus Cars Ltd. have reached trade agreements in Iran since the nuclear accord.

“There’s been a great increase in trade since the sanctions were lifted,” Johnson said, noting, Britain’s ambassador is “using the opportunity to develop our relationship with Iran.”

Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran in August 2015.

The diplomatic mission was shut and all its staff were withdrawn in November 2011 after hundreds of Iranian students marched on the embassy, pulling down the UK flag and demanding the expulsion of the ambassador in protest against the expansion of UK sanctions on Iran.

In September last year, the two countries exchanged ambassadors.

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