UK repeats commitment to Iran deal

04 June 2019

During a joint news conference with US President Donald Trump today, British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the importance of the USA-UK special relationship in dealing with Iran, but added that "we [the UK] stand by the nuclear deal".

Theresa May welcomed President Trump to Downing Street for a bilateral meeting. (Image: Number 10)

The 'nuclear deal' - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - was signed in July 2015 by Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA - also referred to as the P5+1 - plus the European Union) and implemented in January 2016. Under its terms, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment activities, eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and limit its stockpile of low enriched uranium over the subsequent 15 years.

The agreement cleared the way for the lifting of nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed against Iran, but Trump on 8 May last year announced the termination of the USA's participation in the JCPOA, directing the US administration to begin the process of re-imposing sanctions on Iran.

"We can also differ sometimes on how to confront the challenges we face," May said as both leaders noted the importance of their alliance as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion approaches.

Trump, who withdrew the USA from the Iran nuclear deal a year ago, said the two nations must keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. "I believe that will happen," he said.

On 8 May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address that unless world powers protect Iran's economy from US sanctions within 60 days, Iran would start enriching uranium beyond permitted limits. In response, the High Representative of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK said in a joint statement they remain “fully committed to the preservation and full implementation” of the JCPOA. They said the re-imposition of sanctions by the USA, following its withdrawal from the JCPOA, was regrettable.

The US president is on the second day of a three-day state visit to the UK.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News